Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Home Page Flash I Don't Like - UCLA

A look at a flash implementation at UCLA that isn't bad, but doesn't give the user enough control.

I'm not feeling so good today, and that makes me hate every Web site I see, so today I'm going to complain about Flash on university home pages. I know, yesterday I was all peaches and cream about the FSU home page, and I still like what FSU has done, but today I feel like whining.

Let's start with UCLA's home page. Overall, I really like the look of the UCLA home page. It's very clean. And their use of Flash isn't totally gratuitous. But there are a few things. First of all, what's with the "'Tis the season to be mellow"?? What a waste of real estate! Sure, stress management is important... but not on the home page of a major university!

But my main issue is with the Flash-based "Happenings" on the right side of the page. First of all, there really isn't anything to indicate that these are changable. Yes, there are up and down arrows, but they don't really scream "interaction" to me.

And then, if you do try to click them, they don't act quite as you'd expect an arrow button to work. In fact, you can't click on them. Mousing over the button causes the happenings to scroll up or down at a constant rate.

Though this is OK, it takes control away from me the user. I'm impatient. I don't want to sit there and watch the thing scroll at it's snail's pace. I want to control the speed. How about making it so mousing over the arrows causes it to scroll, but clicking on the arrows causes it to skip ahead to the next screen of happenings? That gives control back to me. I control my experience, not the Flash developer.

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