2 What Does Switching To Animation Screen Lay Out Do Flash Preloader – Why You Need to Add a Preloader to Your Flash Animation

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Flash Preloader – Why You Need to Add a Preloader to Your Flash Animation

If you use a Flash animation or Flash movie on your website that is larger than 40kb, it is generally recommended that you add a preloader to the Flash file.

This article explains:

  • what is a flash preloader;
  • what are the benefits of using a preloader for your Flash movie; AND
  • how to easily make flash preloader yourself without using adobe flash.

What is a Flash Preloader?

A Flash preloader is a graphical indicator that tells the viewer that a Flash animation is loading and shows the progress of the download, usually as a percentage. This gives the visitor an idea of ​​how long they have to wait before seeing the animated content.

Flash preloaders can display download progress as a percentage, or the number of bytes/kilobytes downloaded, or a combination of the two.

They can simply be a number on the screen that increases until it reaches 100%, but more often, Flash preloaders are graphical images that give a visual indication of progress.

Examples are a horizontal percentage bar or progress bar that is filled with a color, or a circle to which small pieces of the ‘pie’ are added until the process has literally come ‘full circle’, and many others.

Why should you use a Flash Preloader?

Anyone who spends any time online will know that people – that’s you, me and everyone else – are impatient. We don’t like to wait. And what’s worse than waiting is not knowing how long to wait. In this case we will not wait. We leave!

Internet users will quickly abandon a website that has large Flash files on them that take time to load. Especially if there is no preloader showing the visitor –

1. that something is being loaded and

2. how much time should pass until the Flash movie will start playing.

Are you aware that broadband penetration is actually still quite low in some countries? This includes the largest English-speaking Internet target market, the United States, where only about 30% of people have a broadband (DSL or cable) connection (according to OECD statistics 2008).

It all comes down to two things: communication and anticipation. By telling people through your Flash preloader that you’re working on something and where you’re at with it, they know what to expect. This puts their mind at ease. They can spend those two seconds looking at other things on your website. But it’s likely that your visitors will stick around to see your awesome Flash effect or impressive Flash movie.

 

By being more than a few seconds late and not telling your visitors anything, most of them are sure to click the “Back” button and probably run to your competitor. And because you’ve given them a negative experience, many of them will never return to your website.

 

If you can afford to lose visitors, customers and potential customers – fine. But you can so easily add an attractive Flash preloader to your animation and keep those people on your site. So the question isn’t: why would you use a Flash preloader, but the real question is: why in the world wouldn’t you?

 

How to add a Flash Preloader to your Flash file?

Creating a Flash preloader in Adobe Flash can be a bit tricky. If you’re an expert user, you should be able to find plenty of tutorials online to create all kinds of preloaders in Flash.

 

However, if you just want a quick and easy way to add a preloader to your Flash animation, there are some great solutions for you. Special Flash Preloader software tools come with many different preloader templates that you can quickly customize to match the colors and style of your website.

 

Just import your Flash animation into the program, choose a preloader template and make a few changes to make it look the way you want it to look, and the program will deliver the preloader to you either as an embedded file in a SWF file or as a external Flash preloader, whichever you prefer. Curious about what my preloaders look like and how they work? Check out a number of different Flash preloader samples here.

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