While online shopping becomes a habit, ecommerce website design has significant importance in shopping experience and sales growth. Designers are endeavoring to make excellent ecommerce website on both visual experience and usability.
Talking about these factors, the dispute around “Flash or HTML5” is never ending. Recently, there are enough arguments advocating that Flash is not good for ecommerce website. The controversy between supporters and opponents makes it a never ending sitcom; so we just list some factors that tell Flash still plays important role in website design, and HTML5 is not that fast to take the crown.
Here is a showcase proves Flash still works in ecommerce website design. They demonstrate kick ass design solutions and creative skills; it is Flash makes them stand out from the crowd.
The most striking attribute of Dripping in Fat is the Flash showcase of all Tees. As you move mouse, all Tees are demonstrated from one side to another; a “view this tee” button would shown up when hover on your interested one, which is a nice context-sensitive application. The Tees in showcase are well matched with the brand name—dripping fat; it shows cool personality and self-appreciated attitude. Also notice the fonts used by the DiF; instead of the traditional fonts, the handwriting styled fonts are vivid and easy to read, which very coordinate with the whole theme of the site.
I put Nikeid into list without hesitation because I like DIY my stuff; I even save SWF to my favorite with Flash saver software. As a project of Nike, Nikeid’s style is quite fit with Nike.com. It aims at people with distinct personality who wants to customize their shoes. You can customize any details of your favorite shoes and preview in different angles. If you think it’s awesome, you can take a snapshot of your design to share with friends.
Patrik Ervell is clear and clean in color, but provides different shopping experience by application of Flash video. Unlike the traditional pictures, it presents a Flash video of cloth that being wore on a male model. It brings a sense of how the clothing would actually look like.
Personally, I don’t like the font. It’s too simple that doesn’t bring any contribution to the site. Maybe that’s something need to be improved to make it more readable.
Lowes Unnyville is an outstanding yard equipment Flash website both in design and interaction. It creates several cartoon characters in the Flash to introduce the products; and it has a “You” section to pre-trial their tools to create your own yard; after having enough fun, you can go to the product page for more details.
Moofe demonstrates the first class of photography in its Flash website. Like what they doing, the photography is professional and attractive and makes visual experience pleasurable. Different pages are shifting from right to left which guarantees the reading fluency. Unfortunately, since the background is black, the text in each subtitle is a little bit dark, which makes the reading a little bit hard.
I can’t help but like the style of this website design. As you surfing on Loworks Store, it feels like you are reading a comic book. Great use of children paintings in background, which makes the website very cute. Notice how well the designer keeps the theme across the product category and details page; every product demonstration frame is nicely fit with the whole website.
If one color, flavor or object sets off another, it makes it more attractive, often by providing a contrast. I think James Martin’s website is a nice example of this. The four colors create harmonious effect that one sets off another.
Since most of the tags are one page content, the Biography tag needs a better layout of content to coordinate with whole site. And there are still empty spaces in Photo Gallery tag, which can be removed.
Storyville Coffee is a delicate Flash website. In addition to the color of coffee itself, designer adopt the color of golden and orange to creates warm and comfort atmosphere, such as sunset, light and etc. Like a cup of coffee in the afternoon, the website is small but full of content; it provides everything you need to know about coffee, which indicate it’s the best place to buy coffee.
The website design is quite fit with the brand profile. Everything on website is demonstrated on a piece of plimsolls canvas. Like Nikeid, Converse is another fine example of interaction. It provides DIY service via Flash. You can get inspired and create your own shoes with various options.
By itself, Tower0 clothing’s website would be very simple and not that remarkable with classic layout and background. What make it special is that it successfully ensouls the product with spirit. You are not only watch the product show, but also the scenery of surfing on California beach.
There are also some parts need to be improved. The detail info about the product is a little bit less, which left large empty part on black background. It is better to add something to improve the readability.
Without any doubt, Lacoste website takes best advantages of Flash animation. Every grid on front page is animation. As you move mouse on each part, the animation begin to play, which makes the website very interactive.
The only thing that troubles me is that it moves a little fast; it takes time for me to get use to the speed.
Laudividni is a women bag brand. The front page is well design by black and white combination with yellow frame and button. There is not any distraction of content, you will be directed by navigation to design your original bags or just have a browse. The whole website creates a luxurious and high level of taste atmosphere.
I only doubt about the play button on Flash video. After the Flash video played, the pause button shows up every time the mouse moves to the video, which influences the visual effect.
Flash is doing well in ecommerce website design
There so many talks about Flash in recent years; some even point out that Flash is out of date. What you see is what you believe. According to what I see from the above examples, they are outstanding Flash works that demonstrating excellent design skills and ideas. So it’s a little bit earlier to make that conclusion. On the contrary, Flash still plays important role in website design.
As far as ecommerce website is concern, it differs from regular and static website design. It requires high level of shopping experience, interaction and attention of visitor towards the product. As an advanced multimedia platform, Flash is doing well on those factors (image, animation, video, audio and interaction).
Some tips to strengthen the Achilles heel
Everyone recognize the potential business brought by the search engine; and search engine SEO is the Achilles heel of Flash sites, because there are no HTML text or links for search engine crawlers to follow. So I’d like to share some tips to strengthen the Achilles heel:
Google spider crawls all the text content interacted with the SWF file.
It’s important because it makes Flash site crawlable. Text in SWF is treated like ones in HTML file; so it is advisable to embed Flash in HTML file. Don’t forget to add <meta>; it tells Google what is your key words, what you describe and which page need to be indexed.
Google recognizes links in SWF file.
Just like links in HTML file or other files, you can include links in SWF to increase odds of Google finding and crawling more of the site.
Google can index external content that a Flash file loads.
Google allows external content relating to Flash file to appear in search results.
Google also indexes site scripted with AS.
It includes version from AS1 to AS3.
Flash is still the No. 1 choice for ecommerce website design; it creates rich media interactions that enhance the shopping experience. Although there are limitations, limitations are something for designer to overcome. It requires balance between user experience and search engine benefits. So I’m looking forward to see more beautiful Flash ecommerce website shared by you. See you in comment.