USAToday.com adds rotating Flash teases
USAToday.com’s redesign this week adds a rotating Flash “billboard,” CyberJournalist reports. The site’s upper-right corner now includes five “ear” teases that fade in and out every few seconds:
I don’t really like tickers, but USAToday.com’s animation works much better than I expected for several reasons:
- Fast transitions increase usability. The fade-out/fade-in process happens in less than a second. With some sites’ tickers, you have to wait for each headline to scroll fully into view. Furthermore, since each frame is static for about five seconds, there isn’t the distracting omnipresent motion of some tickers.
- Pictures may increase usability. Seeing the first picture again is an excellent visual clue that the animation has cycled back to the beginning. It takes more effort to recognize this when you have to read (and remember) each headline.
- Manual control increases usability. In other words, there’s a way to go back to the previous frame in the animation if you decide you were interested in it right after it disappeared. (It would be better, though, if the method for doing this was a little more obvious than clicking on one of the five circles).
My only other suggestion is that the section logos (e.g. "Inside: Life") ought to be rebuilt as vector symbols in Flash. The heavy JPEG distortion used to keep their file size under control as bitmaps is quite obvious. On the whole, though, I like USAToday.com’s rotating teases a lot better than, say, the ad-like Flash bar on CJOnline.com. Perhaps, when done well, rotating teases can be a good way to present more content at attractive sizes in a limited space.
Hmmmm... putting aside my general dislike of both Flash and tickers, I agree that this is one of the better implementations I've seen. It took me a few rotations though to recognize that clicking on the little yellow circles takes you to the various panels. (There is probably a more intuitive -- if less artistic -- method)
No my real problem here is not with their Flash news banner but the fact that in addition there are, at times at least, two Flash motion ads (currently Dell and Samsung). I'm starting to feel seasick. ;P
> No my real problem here is not with their Flash news banner but the fact that in addition there are, at times at least, two Flash motion ads
A standalone (i.e. desktop) Flash ticker, such as the Reuters Desktop Ticker, would solve this, while providing continuous, dynamically updated content.