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I don't particularly like websites that are all Flash or all script.  I think the first page a user sees should NOT be a flash page or a page riddled with javascript, instead it should be a simple html page.  I can't even begin to state my frustration with incompetant web programmers (If you can call 'em programmers) that make their site inaccessible to people with scripting turned off.  (i.e. Quark) I basically ignore the site if it doesn't work with my security settings, unless I really, really want to view it.  In which case I'll turn down my security settings.

I can access Joel's site with my webbrowser set to the highest level of security.  I don't have to have cookies or scripting or activex controls enabled.  I don't have to allow Java, Flash etc.. in order to read his articles.

Maybe I'm just complaining, but it's 2004, peeps should know better.  I'm not big on internet programming books, but i'm sure this must be mentioned in one of 'em and I believe you would maximize the number of people who can view your site.

It's just what I do when I can't get no lovin
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

"I don't have to have cookies or scripting or activex controls enabled.  I don't have to allow Java, Flash etc.. in order to read his articles."

My god. 

Is your favourite snack a slice of bread with a glass of water for dipping too?!?

There is security and then there is too much security!

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

It's just common sense.  I don't want to wait for a flash animation to load.  I especially don't want to wait for your flash animation to load.  I want to see what you have to offer without waiting.  That's the bottom line.  Now if you're running a website with animation then you should have a link that states that flash is required to view your site.  Scripts that load tons of small pictures are especially annoying.  The winner of most annoying is the "Move your mouse over this menu and this picture changes".  Yea, just what I want to see.  I don't care if pictures change or colors fly everywhere I want to get where I'm going and find the information I need.

It's just what I do when I can't get no lovin
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Information is conveyed in ways other than plain text.  Color, size, weight, whitespace, motion, and position are all orthogonal ways to present information.  It's why I love HTML mail.  Much easier to create easy to read messages.

Why you want to strip all sorts of information is beyond me.

Ankur
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I'm not saying strip information.  Please learn to read.  Reading comprehension is fundamental.  No where did even imply stripping information.  I in fact state that an HTML page should be supplied and should be the first page encountered on a site.

The OP
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I agree with the original poster, and I believe most usability experts do, too - no home page should be in flash; it should be HTML 3.2 compliant with minimal images. From there the user should have the option of proceeding with or without your advanced technologies of choice.

In fact, I wouldn't have a problem with any website where the home page was simply:

- Bow before my graphic godliness swathed in Flash, DHTML, and animated gif goodness, developed completely on a LAN and never tested over dialup.

- Just show me the list of drivers in plain text, thank you.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

"- Bow before my graphic godliness swathed in Flash, DHTML, and animated gif goodness, developed completely on a LAN and never tested over dialup."

You left out full of IE specific hooks from Front Page and vbscript goodness.

Mike
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

"I agree with the original poster, and I believe most usability experts do, too - no home page should be in flash; it should be HTML 3.2 compliant with minimal images." (Philo)

Well HTML 3.2 corresponds to the 1996 standard ( http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/#previous ). Why would you go so far back? I would probably go for something like HTML 4.01 (1999) with CSS (light on KB, following all standards, not many images). The page should fall back gracefully in old browsers.

uncronopio
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Methinks you missed the sarcasm.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Me thinks I get it now.

embarrassed uncronopio
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Sarcasm aside, html mail is another spawn of the devil.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Ankur >>
The problem as I see it, is that these technologies are usually not used to convey information. Often, I think, flash and java is thrown in only to hide the _lack_ of information.

I think this might infact be a side effect of having advertising agencies going into webdesign. All form, no content.

Eric DeBois
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Methinks, I still miss the sarcasm

rm -f / *
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Another advantage of a lean home page: it will save your server.

I have seen countless examples of home pages with poor cache control and complex imagery that resulted in overloading the server.

The classic example is the Ontario Independent Electricity Market Operator home page ( http://www.theimo.com/ ). During the aftermath of the famous August blackout, I checked it frequently to see how high usage was, so I could stop work before getting hit with a rolling blackout.

So did plenty of other people.  The server was frequently unavailable.  Although it would look ugly, the IMO could have improved service by placing a home page along the lines of:

"Due to high web traffic demand, we have moved our normal home page <here>.

Current Ontario demand (as of 10:00am August 18): 19,150 MWh."

Not even 1K, and a lot better than the graphic they would ship during other times.

David Jones
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Sites like CNN temporarily reduce the complexity and size of their home pages during periods of high use (e.g. September 11, war breaking out, etc). But then, they have people running the site that seem to know what they're doing.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

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