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June 11, 2008

Skip Flash Intros in Google Search Results

There was a time when many web sites were designed in Flash and included a short animation on the homepage, to impress you before viewing the actual content. Unfortunately, the intro was a time waster.

"Splash pages were an early sin of abusive Web design. Luckily, almost all professional websites have removed this usability barrier. However, we're now seeing the rise of Flash intros that have the same obnoxious effect: They delay users' ability to get what they came for. On the upside, most Flash intros feature a skip intro button," wrote Jakob Nielsen in 2000. The animations were usually gratuitous and didn't allow people to make choices. "Many Flash designers decrease the granularity of user control and revert to presentation styles that resemble television rather than interactive media. Websites that force users to sit through sequences with nothing to do will be boring and pacifying, regardless of how cool they look."

Eight years later, Google added a new option next to the search results that show Flash intros: "skip intro". Clicking on the link saves you time and effort because you can directly bypass the animation.

This is not the first Google feature intended to improve navigation: sitelinks and site search boxes help you save one or more clicks and go directly to the page you want to visit, especially if your query is imprecise.

{ via Google Blogoscoped }


  1. Great feature. One of the big names I remember still has this abusive web design - All the articles including visit to their home page has an introduction. Its because of this very reason, I have stopped visiting that website and unsubscribed to all their newsletters.

  2. Superb. It's exactly this kind of thinking that made Google #1.

    As well as improving the 'surfing experience' (dread term!), the joy of this is picturing the faces of the sad designers who place their vanity above the user's needs.

    Go Google!

  3. Great feature! Very happy to see Google taking action to improve basic usability in website. Hope people, and clients will finally stop asking for intro pages or animation!

  4. Excellent idea! For sure my frustrated web designer - flash enthusiast - friend would not like it. Haha. I win.

  5. Great feature, but how can I inform Google to provide it? I'm a web developer.


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