Yes, Everyone Clicks To Skip The Flash Intro On Your Annoying Website

from the make-them-go-away dept

The common use of “flash intros” to corporate websites has never made much sense. Generally, they’re a pain, and even for the few folks who want to watch them, after seeing it once, why should they ever want to go back again? Yet, for some reason, web designers love them, and somehow keep convincing corporations to use them. However, a usability expert studying these things now says that ” the skip intro button is the most used button on the Internet.” While you can quibble over the hyperbole, it does make sense to question why so many firms keep using these types of entryways, when it clearly keeps people from the content they actually want — such as how to buy your product.

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Comments on “Yes, Everyone Clicks To Skip The Flash Intro On Your Annoying Website”

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Robert Rittmuller (user link) says:

So True

As web developer I always tried to discourage my customers from doing these intros! Most took my advice but some just would not listen, even after some of the end users started to complain. I think the issue you present here is a two-fold problem, designers who need the work, and customers who have “sold” themselfs that they absolutely “must” have a flash intro and nothing will convince them otherwise….

Just my .02 😉

TasMot says:

Re: My Pet Peeve

Download a tool called SpywareBlaster and install it. It will help to avoid spyware, and under the tools it has a Flash Killer that works very well. As a bonus, if you normally leave it to kill flash, you can open the tool, allow flash, and reload the page and it will start working for the little while you need it, then turn it off again.

Neal says:

Flash costs you my money

The vast majority of Flash content on the web is ads so Flash is not on any of my computers. If your website requires Flash, I can’t use it so I can’t buy your product. Likewise, if your software requires Flash I don’t buy it.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of fools who put up Flash home pages and don’t have the sense to provide a link that will allow me to skip it. If I really want to buy their product, or I really need information on it, I can sometimes find a Google link to an inside page where I can continue my search. If I can’t I’m forced to send my business to their competitors.

Example – Winsor and Newton. I’ve spent several thousand dollars on oil paints the past three years. I was ready to buy their brand based on recommendations, but I wanted to download the list of pigments in their colors. Well – A Flash only intro and the best Google brought up were randomly named pdfs and a few pages with links that led nowhere useful. I did find pigment info from Holbein however, so I’ve spent thousands on their paints instead. In the meantime Google’s finally stored a link to the inside of W&N’s site that leads to the information I wanted. Too late now – I love the Holbein paint and don’t plan on changing.

Painter Too says:

Re: Flash costs you my money

I just went to the Winsor Newton site to see what was up. Flash has added nothing to that site. It is a mess in Firefox as well. I wonder why they bothered with Flash at all! I happen to love Flash when it is used well. I guess Flash is a “medium,” it is never rare, and it is seldom well done.

Turd Ferguson says:

Re: Flash costs you my money

Oh dear lord! My eyes, my eyes!!

I thought you were just being a jaded blogger, but no! you were dead on right! That Winsor and Newton site is ENTIRELY in Flash. That’s why Google couldn’t index the stupid thing! I’m serious, the whole site is Flash, even with a navigation scrollbar, IN FLASH, on the right side of the screen!!! They had some really nice graphical look and feel to their site, and they probably paid a lot of money for that site, but to be honest it looked like a 2-bit, 10-person firm put it together. It was truly awful. You should submit that site to!

My wife ran across this type of web developer attitude recently with a couple of guys who came to pitch Flash-based website design to her and the guy she shares an office phoneline with (they’re both lawyers with their own solo firms in the same office building). These tards kept trying to sell her on the whole Flash idea, but her and her partner were like: “Well, we’re lawyers, so that style of site really wouldn’t work for us.” to which these tards kept saying, “yeah, but we really want to do flash.” Give the customer what they want you morons! – not what YOU want! Sheesh.

JM says:

Re: Re: Flash costs you my money

As a Web Designer/Developer myself I must apologize for the morons I share an industry with. You wouldn’t believe the kind of crap I have to fix because some jackass wouldn’t give decent service – our JOB is to create something the client wants and to make suggestions that will make it a useable and functional site.

Every time I work with a client I try to help educate them about the Internet and what does and doesn’t work – just because it’s Flash doesn’t mean it’s doing it job, which, in the end, is to sell your company’s product or service.

I hope your wife ended up firing those losers and found a designer/developer that actually created a site that worked for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Time Better Spent

But you still don’t get it! Is not the developer or the designer but the client who wants the damn intro. This one time I told a client that instead of spending money in some stupid intro, we could spend it in an interactive description of some of the product specs or something else that can really sell. You know what the idiot did? He hired someone else instead. This is the kind of stupid stuff we flash designers have to withstand every damn day. Working for monkeys. Then they complain their “flash site” isn’t paying itself. Make no mistake, flash is a very powerfull tool when correctly used. Otherwise is a monumental waste of time and resources.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Time Better Spent

> If Flash developers need the work so bad, why not invest the time in a good flash-based main site, rather than the intro page?

Maybe because the people being asked to do this are not Flash developers. They are web designers who had to learn Flash because people keep asking for it.

Chris Griffin (user link) says:

Competent Designers stopped using them about 5 Yea

I know not one competent designer that uses flash intros anymore, in fact I don’t know that many competent designers that use flash period. Flash has moved to niche markets such as movie & entertainment sites and has several small legitimate uses. Flash is also still prevelant in the corporate world.

It’s the amateurs and old school designers that refuse to keep up with the industry that are sticking to their ignorant guns.

But don’t stick it to all web designers, almost all of us know how much of a pain they are.

J3ff (user link) says:

yup yup

I do a bit web development.. I constantly get clients asking for “flash intros” and I am constantly trying to talk them out of it. Alot of these flash intro pages are built because the mass public heard the word flash and liked the way it sounded.. It happens alot it seems. Remember the imac? How many people do you think bought them cause they matched their carpet or their couch? I have no problem using it IN a site but not as the site.

MartinE (user link) says:

Flash Splash pages

About five years ago Jupiter released a top ten reasons people leave websites list. Flash intros were number one, stopping 50% of all traffic to the site. As for Flash-based sites, they are very difficult to do search optimization for and many are seen by crawlers as one page with no text content since the url remains the same and all text is seen as images.

Any web developer who does this stuff is way out of touch with the marketing aspect of site development. You can embed flash into a page to deliver a message- we do it on our site, but it doesn’t require a visitor to sit there while the thing plays. Use it for its strengths, not its weaknesses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh man

This reminds me of a boss I had who insisted on a 30-second cheesy intro to her site. I eventually pulled it without her permission because it was killing business and she got pissed. I left the company, and now not only does she have that, but she has one of those annoying things that prevents you from backing out of the site. Nightmare.

Aaron Friel says:

Normally one to hate the use of flash...

But this is the most beautiful website I’ve ever seen.

I wouldn’t doubt the ability of flash designers just yet, as these folks designed nearly their entire site in flash, and it looks, well, awesome. But then again, the people at 2advanced never had a skip intro button: not that I would click it, anyways.

Sol says:

Firefox + Flashblock Extension

For those of you who use Firefox, the Flashblock extension is great. It prevents the flash but still gives you the option view if you want. Won’t solve all of the flash issues but certainly helps!

Also, my most major websites now download significantly faster. Here’s the extension:

Happy surfing!


Jon Beattie (user link) says:


Whoever started this stupid trend has something to answer for. We always try not to do this, but some client insist. This was a few years ago though and I think clients are starting to understand this. One way you can lessen the damage is to put a cookie on the visitor’s computer and then code it so you only see the Flash intro on your first visit.

Jon Beattie (user link) says:

Flash still has some uses

Having read some of the comments, I don’t agree that Flash should be disregarded entirely or blocked by default, there are still benefits to using Flash for certain elements, but always provide a non-Flash alternative and use detection to ensure that the experience is seemless for the user. An interactive product demo could very easily be done without Flash. Sites done entirely in Flash, without any non-Flash alternative, are a mistake. You can’t generally link directly to a particular ‘page’ and the content can’t be indexed by search engines.

Dam says:

Imagine - Doing What The Client Wants

Flash is overused, won’t get any argument from me, but if designers AND clients worked to keep the intro short, then place a cookie so it won’t run again, where’s the problem?

Useability studies? Please provide details. I’ve seen studies that say the exact opposite.

For the guy that won’t put Flash on his PC, bully for you. You won’t do business with anyone who does, who is that hurting – the merchant? What if the merchant with the crappy Flash had far better stuff at a lower price? Oh yeah – stick to your principles and make him suffer.

The client should have the final word if for no other reason then he/she is paying for the design. An astute business person would take a designer’s advice into consideration, but for many business people, the proof is in the putting.

ET says:


To all you fellow Web designers:

If you have the choice between being forced to create a site with a flash intro or losing that customer, please lose that customer. I have had several customers whom I turned down because they did not want to hear about a site without the flash intro… some of them came back to me afterwards, some didn’t… but I feel a lot better for not having a single site with a flash intro out there.

Flash intro’s… on top of being incredibly annoying, they are just so 1990’s!

Devin McKinney (user link) says:

Better use for Flash

At Green Array, we decided to not have Flash when users loaded our home page, but put it as a link from the Home page. It turns out that 60% of the people who came to our site clicked to view the flash. We also told them in advance what they were getting into, a 2 minute product intro via flash. I think people like video for certain things, it’s a great way to convey complex information simply, but they want to have more control over when it happens.

Chris says:

Flash is "development?"

From my experiance in web design, code is always the best way to go. Sure it takes a lot of work but you’re always able to get precisely what you want out of a site. If you use Flash, or any other assist programs, I find that the drag and drop, cut and paste feel to it hinders the site you’re delveoping immensly. Even if you use developer tools they tend to incorprate more code then’s actualy needed, and just leaves your consumer waiting even longer to accessing your information.

Seeing as there’s still a vast majority of people out there using win98 machines (even though microsoft has stopped security updates for it, so next worm will kill all 98 users), or the equivilant of a poor performer, having an option to skip flash is a must. I’d even recommend a text only version, if you’re site deals with a lot of specs or info. Streamlining the content straight to the consumer as fast as possible is better than making it appealing to the eye. They want information about the services you offer, and don’t want to waste a lot of time searching for it.

george leroy tirebiter says:


I know (and have known) several university professors who taught only flash in web design classes and whose students thereafter saw flash as the only solution to any web problem. Worse yet, the professors managed to convince their students that doing HTML was somehow beneath their dignity. One of my favorite sites put together by these idiots for an unsuspecting customer uses flash to do (badly) no more than what could be done in HTML. The customer’s site remains unindexed, gets few users and the customer wonders just why this is.

Tyshaun says:

Flash does have its uses...

I can’t condemn flash, I love some of the creative sites that employ it to tell stories, or for snappy online games. I agree that for consumer driven sites it’s a bit overkill, but the net isn’t all about sales and $$$.

My favorite is all of the movie sites that use Flash extensively (XMen 3 comes to mind). I think it’s a perfect marriage. The sites are more advertising than informational and you feel like you’re being told a story not just served a bunch of information.

So yeah, flash intros aren’t great for all applications, but let’s not condemn the entire app. I still remember a time when everyone was clamoring to have Flash based sites.

Anonymous Coward says:

I agree with you all that Flash intro’s are a pain. However, thats not a reason to avoid Flash completely. For example, the online university I attend relies heavily on flash to deliver their course materials, online presentations, we use flash messenger, and their latest addition Podcasts which relies heavily on flash as well. It all loads quick, so its a ++++ for them.

Dumkoff says:

My Co. is the WORST

Our Flash intro which isn’t even remotely interesting, just text changing colors…oooohhh! Lasts an amazing 36 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!

I about died. They asked me my opinion 1) it lasts longer than a friggin’ TV commercial 2) NO ONE is gonna sit through a lame-ass flash intro let alone one lasting that long.

Reply, “Yeah, but there’s a skip intro link.”

My retort, “So why have it last 36 seconds then? Flash intro’s were like parachute pants in the 80’s. At first people liked’em cause they were different, then they realized those pants were really stupid, came to their senses and stopped wearing them.”

Basically they didn’t approve of my comments because they personally liked the flash intro. UGH.

Anonymous Coward says:

Even though flash sites can be annoying, think about this. What do you think is going to happen when TV and web are completely married? Do you really think the content will be presented in some static language? Every day flash get’s your TV and web closer. Who will be unemployed? The HTML coder or the interaction/animator specialist? Flash is just paving the way of things to come like it or not. I agree with the overuse problem. Many people still don’t get it. And today I still strugle with the intro requests. I’ve been known to decline freelance offers just for that. I always kill the client with this question every time they ask for the intro. Would you buy an MP3 player with 30 sec forced interruption every time you hit play? 😉

You only use flash when needed because it’s just a tool. For example, the best way to showcase artwork is in flash due the loading feature. Many designers are so into the bling stuff that they completely forget that web navigation is more about psychology than shiny stuff.

the truth says:

You Know those VW commercials

where the people have the bullhorns….

need i say more….

just another way to rack up the design time bill…

I never understood why these companies have all this junk that slows you down from getting the info you want.

But thats what happen when you live in gated communities watching Bloomberg all day…

I tend to get lazy and forget to see what the people want…

Allan Bush (user link) says:

Design with what you have

Two things are apparent in this thread.

If you are reading this. you are preaching to the choir. We all hate flash intros.

Not one of you has responded as a business user.

Yes, I am a web designer. And I agree, good designs don’t need splash pages – unless you are in an industry that demands them, ie.. Movies, Television etc…

Nielsen and other usability experts are the bane of designers and branding managers everywhere. Just when we have the bandwidth to support graphically dynamic websites, Jacob wants to put us back into the text browser era.

Not install/Turn off flash? WTF. Just because you don’t like commercials you unplug your television? (Let’s not complicate the analogy with DVR references for the sake of simplicity).

IF you design anything design it to be the best. IF your client demands a splash page;

    Explain to them without sounding condescending why it may not be a good idea. Back up your recommendation with competing sites. Clients think in real world terms, not designer trends.

    Compromise. I’ve successfully convinced clients to only use the concept and visual aspects of the intro instead of the whole flash intro. Clients are usually bedazzled by the intro concept because it is so different from anything they have on their site.

    Ask them why they think it a good idea. Seriously. Designers need to know their target audience, and no matter how great we think we are, the business users are the ones maintaining that relationship. If they have a valid reason, or you just can’t convince them otherwise, design the best friggin intro possible. Maybe it will be so good that people won’t want to skip it.

Turning down clients? I don’t care how good you think you are. That’s business suicide. If a designer turns down business just because of a splash page, then be prepared to not only lose that business but a lot of other potential clients.They will surely tell everyone about their crap web experience.

As to all the flash can’t be indexed, crap. There are ways around this. If you are serious about web development then you already know this. Otherwise you are just perpetuating a common misconception. Talk to someone who does SOE. You might learn something.

Regina Thurston (user link) says:

Re: Design with what you have

I agree with Mr. Bush. Flash intros have their place and web designers operating from a for-profit perspective, have to balance their viewpoint with the client’s viewpoint. If you truly dislike the design but it is not immoral, illlegal or unethical, design it anyway and leave it out of your portfolio and don’t add any design credits.

If you can’t convince your client not to design something a certain way and think you will be blamed for negative performance, make sure your contract documents the expected outcomes.

Headscratch says:

Are you serious

I am a designer, but i have to say, that flash has its uses, as well as html, php, css and every other tool at our disposal. Any one look at ? made by…….viacom? all flash and some JHTML. you would tHink viacom is at the fore front of media no? I think sometimes designers developers get so caught up in the trend they forget that in the end it isn’t about us (the designers) its about the client and the market. and as much as we hate sounds and tid bits of animation, the average user especially people who are new to computer technology love it those who are not scared that the mouse will bite them that is and thats the truth of the matter. matter of fact MOST really good portfolio sites that are designer and photographer sites are full flash sites with all the bells and whisltes Syrupnyc, 2advanced, Von Glistcha Studios, the list goes on and on. Designers are like so anal about everything, it doesn’t mak sense to say no to something cause everyone else is doing it at the time, everyone forsaked parachute pants and picked up michael jackson zippered jackets, and then picked up the grunge look, and dropped that for cross colors and karl kani, then wore tommy hilfiger. theres a lot of trends that go on at the time that seem cool and up to date, only to find out later on that that trend sucked…

Miss Vicious Vixen Mission Stardust (user link) says:

Hail Mary! Fire and Brimstone!

Girls, if I have to stumble across anymore Flash-based tranny sites with transgender women popping out of jack-in-the-boxes, only to flash me their two bits and sugar, well, I say lose the flash! I want content. Show me the beef. Lord knows there’s enough silicone floating around here already. From PCs to titties–everywhere you look someone’s gotta one up the game with more glitz and glamour. Lord. It’s enough to drive a strong-minded, well-developed transgender woman soul to drink 3 Martinis straight–and that’s on a Tuesday night! Oh how it was so much easier in the days when you plugged your Commodore 64 into the TV and fired up a good game of Missle Command.


Parachute pants will be in vogue by 2007.

Loves and Kisses,

Miss Vicious Vixen (Flash? Flash what? Flash-me-you-titties!) Mission Stardust

John Bloomfield (user link) says:


As a designer I have the software and skills to build flash, but you wont find it on any of my own sites at all, it’s a total waste of the time 90% of the time.

However, clients want it for god knows what reason, possibly they just think it is the modern thing to do, people need to think about why their website is there in the first place – dsign around the visitors needs not your own ego!

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