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February 12, 2009

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Alex

I'm not entirely sure about the central Flash movie not being a bad thing per se. In several browsers I have FlashBlock installed and the rest of the time I rarely bother to wait for tedious Flash animations/movies to load - it's a surefire way for me to close the tab. I think it's much better to allow your site users (especially if it's me!) to opt into Flash than to inflict it upon them.

Mike Duffy

I'm 50/50 about the use of Flash on winery Websites.

On the one hand, it's widely installed, and as long as it doesn't slow down a visitor's use of the site (or render it unusable, as it does on the iPhone), I'm not against it. On the other hand, the content isn't usually compelling enough to warrant its use, and people frequently screw it up (no static image alternative, slow load times, etc).

If you're just using it as a means to show an sequence of images nicely, it's probably OK. If your site is built entitely in Flash, I think you've made a mistake.

But your point is well taken.

Chris Donatiello

thanks for taking a look at the site. I didn't realize that from the wine tab you couldn't go straight to ordering as you can by hitting the aquire button. I thought that had been fixed. Still, signing in allows customers with allocations to access them.

Yes, go ahead and take a look at the other sites. I do not own them, but I handle them from a sales perspective. I got the ok, so enjoy and thanks for asking. (though if you don't like flash, you won't like the pages).

Mike Duffy

Hi, Chris.

Thanks again for being game for this exercise. I appreciate your good humor.

If all your wine is allocated, that requires a different approach (and a subtle "log in" is completely appropriate).

When I hit "Acquire", I see one wine for sale. If I view cart, *then* I get a check out button, but it isn't at all obvious. And then I have to create an account. Since I have to enter the account info to complete an order anyway, why not just move the process along more naturally?

When you have some wine for sale to all comers, placing a login in front of them is an obstacle. Maybe that's a good thing for your winery. The answer is always test, test, test to see what really happens. Of course, few site owners have the time and energy to do that.

And it's not that I don't like Flash, it's just that poor use of it can diminish what a visitor experiences. Any site using flash should degrade gracefully if it's not present. If a webmaster can't make that happen, they shouldn't use it.

Kathy

Good idea, Mike.
I HATE flash on websites, particularly winery websites as that's where I go most often.
Why?
1. Slow load. Half the time I just move on. Not everyone has lightning speed broadband, mine is average.
2. Lack of content.
3. No content updates (costs too much for flashers to redo).
4. And...if I want to copy the address, email and tel so I can contact them or pass on to a friend who wants to visit....I have to write the stuff on a piece of paper. geez. At least leave the essential contact page unflashed.
5. Spirit websites: targeted audience, lots of money and things to do and contests and music to download ...and very costly. Wine websites: no target, no money, nothing to do except look at more pictures of vines and no music to download and basic wine information outdated

Why in the world would someone want flash? (please send this to all and any wineries who need it, I don't have time to wait for the flash to load and to find the email.)

This isn't limited to California websites but seems to have spread faster than phylloxera on all continents over the last three years. The design-savvy Italians offer the most interesting graphics (but all points above still apply).
Whew, glad to get that off my chest.

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