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Macromedia Flash Site - HELP!

 
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michaeld



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: Macromedia Flash Site - HELP! Reply with quote

Smile

Last edited by michaeld on Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael Smile

Personally I'm a big fan of flash, i've built many 'all flash' sites for friends and certain types of businesses .... like you i like the exact positioning and control that only flash can give. That said, it's been a while since we've been asked to create in Flash. Accessibility (much discussed elsewhere on this forum!) and Search Engines have killed much of the demand and popularity.

I'm not actually sure what you mean by ....
Quote:
1.) 15-20% of the people who attempt to access my site never make to the first page.

If they don't make it to the first page, surely nothing would be logged? Maybe something is implying that the 'Movie' isn't being displayed, in which case i'd say that not all the 15-20% is down to a 'lack' of flash (flash is now 98% accepted). The new version of XP security settings block javascript and active X, both loaded on your frontpage ... this could possibly be adding extra problems (still seems high though).

As for ...
Quote:
2.) 25-30% of the people who make it to the first page never go beyond, and exit instead.

This could simply be down to the fact that all the relevent information is contained in the Movie on your index page .. the only 'other' page i can see is the gallery which as you say, is pretty new.

Another possible reason (for both the above) is that much of your traffic could be 'search engines' finding your site from links. In which case they'd register and homepage 'hit' but be unable to load the Movie or follow any of the links to other pages.

I'd definitely recommend developing a HTML version, if only to guarantee inclusion with the search engines.

Good Flash work though Smile
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Tony
http://www.livinginitaly.co.uk
http://www.property.livinginitaly.co.uk
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michaeld



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile

Last edited by michaeld on Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:53 am    Post subject: wood trees etc. Reply with quote

Michael,

Question: Where is your house?

I certainly didn't have any problems loading the flash at all, but I have a BIG problem with knowing where your house is located. All I could find was a link to "directions", which gave an address with "OR" in it, which I take to mean Oregon, USA?

I only gave the site a cursory look, which is what I would expect from anyone else visiting, but one thing that made me click away so quickly was the clicking noises. I don't like sounds on any websites, and have always thought this to be a negative and very offputting for folks browsing at work in open plan offices or late at night when others are asleep. Of course I could switch off my speakers, but then I would miss my own music or the radio which I enjoy while browsing...Smile

Just my 2 cents.

All the best,
Joanna
www.propertyangels.com
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michaeld



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 11:34 am    Post subject: re: Macromedia Flash Site - HELP! Reply with quote

Smile

Last edited by michaeld on Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3952
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

You already know your site is beautifully designed so I am going to be HYPER-critical and tell you what I think may be causing you to lose those people from the homepage.

Looking at your site as a potential renter my impression is it's an alien atmosphere and I want to get out. That's not an overwhelming feeling, more of a nagging undertow. I don't really know what I am looking at or where I should click next.

However, let's imagine I have come to it following a link from a listing site, and that I do know it will be a site for a vacation rental home in Oregon.

It takes a while to load on my ADSL, which is off-putting. When it's done loading I expect to see some animation, as that is what usually happens with Flash. But there is none (thankfully).

This site looks too slick for a rental owner's site - it looks like a site selling something I don't need. At top left, where the eye goes to look for some sort of logo or branding, is a big red toll-free number. All the images on the page look like library shots, except the one of the house. In a sense, this site is 'too good' for the market it is serving. One expects something a little more home-spun and rough around the edges.

There are too many competing elements on the page, all fighting to draw my eye, and as a result I look everywhere and nowhere.

On the left where you expect the navigation menu are your main selling points. I think it is a great idea to slap down your selling points on the homepage, but this format was counterintuitive for me.

I think that this visual clutter is why people don't explore beyond the first page.

The sound effects I find unwelcoming - jangly, cold, metallic. I don't think sounds are necessary but if you use them, how about some soothing sounds one might associate more with a relaxing vacation? Waves breaking, wind chimes?

You have some beautiful photos in your gallery - how about showing them up-front? These are much more your selling points than the linens, TV and phone stuff. I clicked on your house to see more pics but to no avail. After a while I saw your 'Photo gallery' link but unless I was reviewing it for you, I would have left by then.

If I came to your site cold, I would leave because I have no idea what 'a Bandon Abandon' means.

Those are my negatives which I am laying on really thick because I know you can take it. Very Happy
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

Your site is beautifully done, and I can view the site just fine with Flash.

My biggest suggestion would be to enliven the pictures. The house is clearly immaculate in the pictures, but this would make me feel afraid to relax in it, in a way. I'd try taking pictures of the kitchen with a big bowl of fruit and maybe a bottle of wine and a cheese plate. Similarly, set the table for two and set up a colorful, gourmet-but-comforting meal -- e.g. a salad with croutons and tomatoes and bright green spinach, a crusty loaf of bread, and maybe a vegetable quiche or lasagna or something. Drape a throw blanket across the bed and leave a book open on top of it for the bedroom picture(s). Stuff like that makes the house look elegant-but-lived-in, and people have an easier time picturing themselves there.

However, let me just cast my vote for a non-flash site. I know it would be a lot of work, but flash is fundamentally unnecessary for a site like this. Sound effects too -- sorry, but I find unrequested sounds more than annoying (my volume is off so I didn't hear any on your site).

As a web designer it's tempting to put all the bells and whistles onto a site, and it's much easier to do now that we have more to work with than silly animated gifs and amateurishly textured backgrounds. But I advocate resisting, and following the K.I.S.S. policy. Anything that adds extra page load time without adding to the productivity of your site should be remorselessly nixed. You might even be able to implement the same type of page (minus unnecessary animations) using a combination of stylesheets and javascript, both of which are more browser-friendly and don't require the potential client to download extra components.

Sorry, I know that's a bit harsh. Again, I really admire the implementation of the site, it's just that I think it would be more appropriate on a more commercial site.
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Alan Knighting



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 4170
Location: Monflanquin, Lot-et-Garonne, France

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brooke,

As you are a web designer perhaps you could advise me on something.

I have available to me:-
    Macromedia Director Shockwave Studio v8.5
    Macromedia Dreamweaver MX v6.0
    Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev v4
    Macromedia Fireworks MX, and
    Macromedia Flash MX


It's all very confusing. Can you please tell me what each of those applications is designed to do and which ones would "normally" by used to develop web pages?

Alan
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