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Author   Topic : "Are splash screens a bad idea?"
ceenda
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 2:18 pm     Reply with quote
Hi there.

I was working on a splash screen for a new version of my website. Just a painted pic of some flying islands or something and a small bit of text about what the site contains.

However, I was in a Multimedia and Design lecture where the lecturer said that splash screens were the hallmark of a badly designed site. i.e. you make the user go through the same pic with no actual information presented whenever a user arrives at the site.

So, are splash screens a good idea and how much graphics should you put on a site in order to make it appealing and yet useable?
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Loud
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 3:00 pm     Reply with quote
Personally I like splash screens, something to give you an idea of what you're about to see. This site even has one, and this is far from poor design.

But if you want the best of both worlds you could save return visitors some time by making a cookie so that when they come back it will know who they are and take them past the splash screen. Just an idea.

My site has one, mainly just for decoration, but it gives you the choice to go straight to the main page or go to the intro.

I really despise any design 'rules'. They hamper the whole concept of creative design I think. Do whatever the heck you want, but do something that hasn't been done. =)

$0.02
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PuckDewd
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 4:08 pm     Reply with quote
Personally, I think it really depends on the site. If it is for a personal site it should be ok. However, if it is for a heavily hit site, it would be a bad idea. (Imagine having to go through a splash page everytime you went to Yahoo). If you use Flash to make a splash page, give the viewer a way to skip past it.

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Electric Synapse
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SporQ
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 4:12 pm     Reply with quote
i tend to agree that splash screens are a waste of bandwidth. i mean, even on this site, i have the forums linked directly, so i dont need to hit the splash and the main site. however, if it doesnt look too bad, i dont hold it against the site. and there is no reason you shouldnt have one if you want one, i mean it's just one more click, not a really big deal.

SporQ
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Bradford
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 4:15 pm     Reply with quote
splash screens aren't really something you can say are bad and good in general. it all depends on how you present it. but yes imo i have seen some before that are very pointless.

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bradford3d@yahoo.com
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AliasMoze
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 5:04 pm     Reply with quote
I think they are generally not a good idea.
Usually splash screens present the logo of site or some kind of animation. IMO there is no need to advertise the site that the user is already trying to get into, if it weren't for the damn splash screen. It's like walking into Sears and having to sit through a Sears ad to get in.
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Funfetus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 10:47 pm     Reply with quote
I didn't want to use a splash screen, but I ended up having to resort to it. See, I have frames on my site, and they seemed to be messing with my counter. Whichever frame I put the counter code in, it showed the "referrer" in my stats as my own site, since the page was called from the frameset. So I ended up putting the counter code on a splash page before you get to the frameset.

Anyone have any better ideas?

------------------
Funfetus
iCE VGA Division
http://www.funhousedigital.com


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Freddio
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 10:56 pm     Reply with quote
although I dont know what sears is..

Look above the door when you walk in and it says Sears.. thats an ad
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Flinthawk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 12:40 am     Reply with quote
Sears is a very old, nationwide (US) major department store chain that sells everything from clothes to tools (you can just hear Tim Allen grunting at that). It's funny how we can sometimes assume that everybody knows this or that, I mean, I don't even think of anybody else on this board being from another country so I would tend to think they experience the same cultural things I do. Anyways, just fyi.

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Nex
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 4:20 am     Reply with quote
you could use your splash graphic for navigation right away.. like when you click on that Island this happens and when you click on the balloon or whatever you come to some other section. just an idea.

I never watch splash pages when they are made in flash.. after all i am not interrested in some spiffy fonts flying and zooming around telling me things I already know.
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Bugscratch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 5:01 am     Reply with quote
I like splash screens (well as long as they're well done). For me websites, as a source of information, are sort of like books or magazines. Think of books without their covers, wouldn't that look unfinished ? And if after entering a site, I like it and plan to visit more often, I always bookmark directly to the main page. And Nex is right, if you do it well you can use your splash screen as a navigation utility.
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Spitfire
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 5:27 am     Reply with quote
This is what splash screens are for :





------------------
Sincerely yours, Iīve disowned us.
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Bugscratch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 7:28 am     Reply with quote
Spitfire that's a good splash screen
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faustgfx
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 8:27 am     Reply with quote
i never even bothered to read what spitfire's splash pic said.

splash screen is good if:
- it actually means something [in case there are matters about resolution one should care about or anything similar]

splash screen is bad if:
- it's just a big pic that takes a year to load and there's nothing else on the page (ahem mullins)

.



------------------
sky high with a heartache of stone you never see me 'cos i'm always alone/ministry
the law of lead now reigns!@#!/earth crisis

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Loud
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 11:38 am     Reply with quote
It's all just a matter of opinion, and you have to face the fact that you can't please everyone. I love Craig's splashscreen I just sat and gawked at that for a few minutes before entering his site, and I'll probably do that everytime I visite his site. I really appreciate stuff like that.
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faustgfx
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 11:45 am     Reply with quote
that's the artistic side of it, not the informal/purpose side.



------------------
sky high with a heartache of stone you never see me 'cos i'm always alone/ministry
the law of lead now reigns!@#!/earth crisis

jussi.kuusi@mediaclick.fi
icq#35983387
http://faustgfx.0wns.org
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edible snowman
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 5:13 pm     Reply with quote
if you want to make everyone happy you could just put a little checkbox on your splashscreen that asks if people want to view it again and store it as a cookie.
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Jerry
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 5:26 pm     Reply with quote
I agree with Loud there. Usually when I go to website (artist's websites) I tend to like to see the splash screen because it tells me how good the artists is and I'll know that i'll be seeing something good. Or put a flash show at the start is good too a little intro wont hurt

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-KARN- Forever. Die? Never
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Justin Kramer
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 8:23 pm     Reply with quote
when I go to art sites, I usually like to get right to the thumbnails, so I can pick and choose what I want to download, instead of having it chosen for me. Being on a 28.8 most of the time, I usually just skip splashes before they load if they allow me to.
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Ben Barker
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 9:42 pm     Reply with quote
I had one for a while, but then I decided it was dumb. But by that time my site was all set up to have one, so I just made it forward to the real page since I'm so lazy.
If I ever get off my ass and redesign I won't have any splash or forward page.

I don't think every splash page is bad though. Dhab's is very tasteful. It's the 3 MB images and pointless flash intros that suck.
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Zeno
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 10:44 pm     Reply with quote
Hi ceenda,

I agree with Puck.. if it is a high bandwidth site don't use a splash. But generally speaking, for a home page I'd say it's an ok idea. Just make it quick loading. Maybe instead of having the same image loading every time someone visits your site, add a rotating javascript for a few images (new artworks perhaps). Just remember to have fun doing whatever you do...


Take care.
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Spitfire
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 6:45 am     Reply with quote
Dhabīs splash is pretty much how itīs not done. It has no purpose whatsoever, but no aesthetic value either! Then whatīs the use...?

------------------
Sincerely yours, Iīve disowned us.
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ceenda
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 9:43 am     Reply with quote
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I guess it depends on who you're trying to appeal to.

AliasMoze: Regarding the whole advertising thing, that's a good point. There's no need to advertise a site when the user already knows why they are going there.

Nex: That's a good idea. Some quick links on a splash page would probably be a good idea.

Jerry: Yeah, I guess that's probably why Craig Mullins has that splash pic on goodbrush.com
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Guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 1:14 pm     Reply with quote
you can also think of it as a cover on a book. they can get your attention, make you want to see whats inside, if its done nicely
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Loud
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 4:58 pm     Reply with quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire:
Dhabīs splash is pretty much how itīs [b]not done. It has no purpose whatsoever, but no aesthetic value either! Then whatīs the use...?

[/B]


It says "welcome"
Kind of like a digital welcome mat at the door. =)
Just a thought...

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JayBee
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2001 6:14 am     Reply with quote
Splash screens...

Hmm. As said, it IS all a matter of context, but there are some general rules:

First, there MUST be a point to it. Personally, I HATE the splash screen on Sijun (no offence Dhabih), cos it detracts from the overall punch of the site. To get to the forums (or anywhere else) I've got to click on a pic of Dhabih, THEN choose where I want to go. IMHO, the actual index page is a much more efficient form of splash page. It can't really be called navigation, but it allows people to choose their experience.

Not that I want to diss this site! It's great, but I think the splash is redundant.

This is the key rule - does your site work better with a splash than without?

Chances are, if the answer is yes then you should redesign the site , however, in some cases it is required. I'd much prefer an html splash to pop up and ask me if I wanted to see a flash version, or non-flash version of a site, than sit through a forced intro. If your viewers want to see the intro, then they can, but if they want to get straight to the point, they can do that also.

This is starting to get rambly... Basically, ask yourself (and your visitors) WHY you're putting a splash screen in. If it's to make up for inadequate nav controls, then spend the time fixing that instead of designing a splash. If it's just to show off, then don't do it (or at least have the courtesy of asking your visitors if they want to see it or not). If it's to allow users to choose which version they want to see (cf www.lessrain.com) then you're on the right track.

At the end of the day, it's all about usability. If it hampers that, then it's not worthwhile

------------------
. . : : j a y b e e

www.sketchboard.co.uk


[This message has been edited by JayBee (edited January 23, 2001).]
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kochun
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2001 9:05 am     Reply with quote
Dhabih's splash page does have no point, but at least it's small and it's pretty easily bypassible by everyone but the newbiest of newbies. It would be ideal if he would just host the main page on www.sijun.com/index.html -- that way, anyone could type in www.sijun.com and get there. Most of the reason that he seperated it out, I think, was that he had intended www.sijun.com to host something else, and the /dhab/ directory was for a personal thing. It was just kind of left that way. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Splash screens are barely tolerable if they're small and easily bypassible. If they give information, that might be another small selling point, but, for example, Spitfire's splash page is way too densely packed for anyone but the most presistent of browsers to actually READ what's on it -- the tilted text is overdesigned and it takes focused concentration to read. If it's important enough to download a huge image for, then you better make it easy to read. Otherwise, it's just decoration that adds one more level between the user and the real content. IMHO.
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Freddio
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2001 5:23 am     Reply with quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire:
This is what splash screens are for :






how dam pointless.. those things are for porn sites and warez
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strata
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2001 5:28 am     Reply with quote
If I do a splashscreen for a site I do it for two reasons:

1. The site is heavy in graphics, and I don't want the user to spoil his first impreesion by looking at it load bit by bit. I therefor put a preload script on the splash screen ensuring that the user at least get's half the images before entering the actual site.

2. Flash sites. If the site is flashed you ALWAYS have to have a html alternative, hence a splashscreen. If the site is for a business or something like that, splashscreens are good for the search engines since they can't read the text or images in the flash. Of course you could put the info into the actual flash html file, but if the search engine looks for content then it will fail.

Those are pretty much the only two reasons I'd ever use a splash screen.
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