Animate!

  • Thread starter Sudden Disruption
  • Start date

S

Sudden Disruption

For years I owned and managed a retail computer store. We had Apple
Macintosh, Atari and of course IBM PCs displayed at our demo stations.
We also had lots of software to show off on these constantly advancing
machines.

One of my pet peeves at the time was a lack of animated demos. It
amazed me that other industries spent millions of dollars creating
cardboard mobiles to hang from the ceiling trying to sell soap or
automobiles, while the software industry didn't even bother to animate
a screen when they had such beautiful resources at hand.

As you might guess, I found the rare software that DID provide animated
demos and left them running most of the time. These titles garnered a
disproportionate mind share which I think helped them prosper.

Now computers are available at Walmart and BestBuy, but much of
retailing has moved to the internet. Google gives us a major search
advantage, but we still under-utilize the magic of movement in keeping
the customer's attention once the page is displayed. This is a major
missed opportunity.

Even as software developers focus on the design of their
user-interface, they often miss the most critical point of contact -
it's your home page. You only have a few seconds to keep the user from
bouncing off to the next website. Animation is the key, but only if
effectively used.

I've spent the last couple of weeks animating a demo of my text editor,
Sudden View. I started with a free trial of Camtasia Studio 3 from
TechSmith. It works as advertised though I'm sure I've only tapped
about 10% of it's features.

I'm still learning the editing process but I have a first cut on the
website. Check it out. As you can see, the whole site is still a work
in progress, but it's now doing a better job of expressing just how
strange yet effective Sudden View can be.

Since I was going for small file size to improve load speed, I produced
in animated GIF format. I kept the screen shot at 640 by 480 and
limited the loop to 125 seconds. Screen size seems to be more important
than length of animation. The Cut-Outs didn't add much at all.

Running an animated GIF is also a great demonstration of the difference
between Explorer and Firefox. If you have both loaded, do an A-B
comparison and you'll never go back to Gatesware. Which brings me to my
second pet peeve about animation - too much of it.

The worst animations are the big Flash files that take forever to load.
I'm amazed at how many of the big money sites still use them. One day
they'll get a clue. Maybe.

Almost as bad are those little ads that constantly flash with
absolutely NOTHING to say. Do we REALLY need to see lots of different
product banners in the same little rectangle?

And they never give us a break. It's a maddening distraction while
you're trying to read the content. To add insult to injury, they don't
let us scroll off either. There's another copy flashing somewhere down
the page. I don't stay long on these sites either.

So if you have a "moving" story to tell on your website, dive in and
give it a shot, but only if it's worth telling in animation. There's no
need for bouncing coffins or vibrating lake front property.

And remember, keep it small and short. And let the user scroll it off
the screen after they've watched it. You DO want them to read the rest
of your content, don't you?

Any one else have any animated web experiences?

Let me know.

Sudden Disruption

Sudden View...
the radical option for editing text

http://www.sudden.net/
http://suddendisruption.blogspot.com
 
Ad

Advertisements

M

Man-wai Chang

And remember, keep it small and short. And let the user scroll it off
the screen after they've watched it. You DO want them to read the rest
of your content, don't you?
Any one else have any animated web experiences?


Why didn't you run demo like 3DMark200x? There is also PCMark.


--
.~. Might, Courage, Vision, SINCERITY. http://www.linux-sxs.org
/ v \ Simplicity is Beauty! May the Force and Farce be with you!
/( _ )\ (Ubuntu 5.10) Linux 2.6.16.18
^ ^ 13:00:02 up 9 days 22:00 0 users load average: 1.06 1.08 1.01
news://news.3home.net news://news.hkpcug.org news://news.newsgroup.com.hk
 
S

Sudden Disruption

kwiKKpage,
What do you think of this:

Nice work! Cool service too.

But why not hit them with the movie at your index (along with some
text)? Most people doing web development have broadband. If a
picture's worth a thousand words, a movie's worth a million.

Wouldn't it keep them from bouncing off the site?

Keep their attention once you get it.

Thanks for the link.

Sudden Disruption

Sudden View...
the radical option for editing text

http://www.sudden.net/
http://suddendisruption.blogspot.com
 
I

In_Parentheses

kwiKKpage,


Nice work! Cool service too.

But why not hit them with the movie at your index (along with some
text)? Most people doing web development have broadband. If a
picture's worth a thousand words, a movie's worth a million.

Wouldn't it keep them from bouncing off the site?

Keep their attention once you get it.

Thanks for the link.

Sudden Disruption

Sudden View...
the radical option for editing text

http://www.sudden.net/
http://suddendisruption.blogspot.com

Uhm, how about this scenario: If a security conscious user hits a site
heavily relying on Flash, the user leaves because he/she don't want that
flawy PoS (Piece of Software!) to be installed on his/her system...? I,
for one, am one of these; If a site has only a "Flash" index page.. them
I'm off!

Perhaps it would be a good idea to go back to animated gifs... would save
quite some BW, and would not pose any security risk. I have seen quite
nice screenshots running in animated gifs.

This raises a question whether web sites *should* be 'flashy' (in the
most broad sense of the word), IMO a lot of sites can do without these
'distractors'

Just my 2c though
 
S

Sudden Disruption

Jay,
Uhm, how about this scenario: If a security conscious user hits a site
heavily relying on Flash, the user leaves because he/she don't want that

That's EXACTLY why I stayed with the GIF. I actually left Flash off
for years on my system and of course avoided any sites that used it.

But I have to say the kwikk page worked well.

That's why I brought up the topic - just to see what the state of the
art was.
This raises a question whether web sites *should* be 'flashy'

Only if it improves communication.

Sudden Disruption

Sudden View...
the radical option for editing text

http://www.sudden.net/
http://suddendisruption.blogspot.com
 
Ad

Advertisements

C

Cousin Stanley


The kwiKKpage movie was fairly impressive
and kwiKKpage would seem to be a fairly
easy way to build and edit websites ....

However, I'm wondering about the price ....

I think it would be beneficial if the subscription prices
were made readily visible up front so that potential subscribers
could decide whether or not the price is affordable for them ....

From the Conditions of Use page ....

<quote>
All subscriptions are made through the subscription facilities
provided by PayPal. Subscriptions are free for the first 7 days
following the subscription date. The subscriber is free to cancel
the subscription before the end of the 7 day period and will not
be billed in this case. After the 7 day free trial the subscriber's
PayPal account will be charged monthly with the sum agreed to on
subscription.
</quote>
 
B

bily

The worst animations are the big Flash files that take forever to load.
I'm amazed at how many of the big money sites still use them. One day
they'll get a clue. Maybe.

I dont think so. The average throughput of the net increases quickly.
Almost as bad are those little ads that constantly flash with
absolutely NOTHING to say. Do we REALLY need to see lots of different
product banners in the same little rectangle?

Maybe this looks strange, but the flash software NOT intended to
produce the banners is supposed to die. Let's pray this prophecy won't
work in my case.
Any one else have any animated web experiences?
Let me know.

At this time I'm wondering how to achieve the critical mass for the
public audience, looks like the great freeware is not enough.

bily
flash animation freeware
http://www.animatonce.com/

P.S. Maybe it's time to turn to the banner creation software? ;-)
 
S

Sudden Disruption

Bily,

Nice page. Cute demos.

You might want to add some kind of comparison to animated GIFs in your
gallery specs since that's how people usually do these simple
animations. Define and show the strengths of your solution over the
typical solution. After that you need to get some "design-ins".

But then how much can you do for Freeware?

It's all about having a good time.

Good luck with your project.

Sudden Disruption

Sudden View...
the radical option for editing text

http://www.sudden.net/
http://suddendisruption.blogspot.com
 
Ad

Advertisements

A

Au

Perhaps it would be a good idea to go back to animated gifs... would save
quite some BW, and would not pose any security risk. I have seen quite
nice screenshots running in animated gifs.

Dithered colours, no thanks. Perhaps animated PNG's should be properly
supported by all web browsers - especially that POS IE6, which can't even
properly support regular PNG's.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top