Using Flash Grid Navigation to Break the Mould

Flash grid navigation will turn an ordinary looking website in to a triumph of modern design and navigation technology, that your visitors will be loathe to leave. Your stick rate will increase significantly, as your visitors enjoy navigating your site using this fantastic-looking navigation option.

If you’re thinking about developing a website with images displayed, such as a photo gallery or thumbnail page, one of the things you really should consider is a form of interactive grid navigation using Flash. There’s no doubt that if you get in early and take advantage of this very new style of delivery and presentation you will make sure your website not only stands out from the rest, but doesn’t suffer from the same drawbacks other gallery websites do.

Thanks to the fact that most people now have broadband internet access, and the fact that the majority of cameras people are using are now digital, it has never been easier to get your images on the web for people to see. Whether that might be your own personal images of friends and family, or a showcase for your photography company, a gallery says a lot – after all, a picture paints a thousand words, and it’s unlikely that people are going to choose reading a thousand words compared to looking at a few pictures that do the job just as well.

In fact, whatever your site or business, a gallery can say a lot. If you’re in the design or fashion business, images of rooms or outfits that you have produced can say a great deal to visitors who may be unfamiliar with what you offer. If you’re a school, then images of the grounds, the classrooms and of some of the activities and resources available will help to give a much better and more positive impression than words alone.

But galleries that do not take the form of a grid navigation structure using Flash tend to suffer from the same common problem, and that is the usual dilemma of whether to go for quantity of thumbnails, or size. Because the issue is that if you publish dozens of thumbnails, in order to fit them on the page you need to reduce them to a very small size, in which case, they’re hardly recognisable and therefore of very little interest. On the other hand, if you include thumbnails that are suitably large, then you’re limited to how many you can actually fit on a page, and so your range is not as enticing.

The other issue that you face is that once a visitor clicks on one of these thumbnails, they are taken away from the thumbnail gallery and to a page where the one picture they’ve selected is displayed. If the picture they’ve chosen is very appealing and exactly the sort of thing they’re after, then you’re in luck, and they may go back to the thumbnail gallery and choose another image. However, if the image isn’t quite what they’re after, then they may well simply close the page and go somewhere else; you’ve just lost a potential customer due to poor site structure.

Had you used a Flash grid navigation system then the chances are very small that this would have happened, and you are far more likely to have retained your potential customer for longer – perhaps long enough to tempt them to place an order.

So how does a grid navigation system work, or rather, what does it look like for the visitor, and how does that differ from a normal thumbnail gallery? To begin with the web page will look very much like any other gallery of thumbnails, although these needn’t be in a traditional grid formation, but could be stacked in a pyramid or other shape. The images can be of good quality, and not too small – a good balance between quantity and size.

The difference between standard thumbnail galleries and a Flash based grid navigation occurs when the visitor clicks a thumbnail. Rather than being transferred away from the gallery, instead the image that they clicked on grows larger in a smooth, animated and dynamic way, simultaneously pushing all of the other images away, reducing the size of them to fit the image clicked on.

By then clicking on the image that has been enlarged, it reduces back down to its original thumbnail size, returning to its position in the grid, and allowing all of the other images to increase back to their original size and realign themselves within the original grid. This dynamic arrangement creates an interactive experience which not only keeps the visitor in the gallery section, rather than hiding all unselected pictures, but provides them with a surprise that encourages them to explore this interactive function, meaning they’re far more likely to see more of the images in the gallery than they might otherwise have done,

In other words, incorporating a Flash grid navigation system for your gallery keeps visitors on your gallery page, rather than sending them off to other pages that only show a single image, and provide an experience which will intrigue them and encourage a more active interest in your page, and potentially, an increase in orders placed.

Post time: 04-22-2017