Flashy Strokes on the BBC homepage

 by Martin Belam, 1 December 2005

This week the BBC homepage used a Flash movie in the promotional slot for the first time, to trail Radio 1's webcast of The Stroke. As usual, when making some kind of trial of a new format or new technology, we asked our audience for feedback, both via the Points of View bbc.co.uk message board, and via a special feedback form.

There has been a strong feeling internally that with increasing broadband take-up similar media portal sites have been increasingly using Flash, and that compared to the promotional offerings on the TV portal and Broadband portal pages on bbc.co.uk the homepage was looking quite static, which is why we wanted to try using Flash.

We didn't get swamped with feedback. A couple of people were dead-set against the use of Flash, as it is proprietary technology, and a few people were very approving, saying they expected the BBC to be using more multimedia on the homepage. We published a summary of the feedback on Points of View.

On reflection though I think we made a mistake in choosing a very unambitious creative treatment for the promo. A lot of the feedback was quite understandably not about whether the Flash worked, but why did we need to use Flash at all to fade-in an essentially still image.

From my point of view though, the trial was a success, as the end-to-end creation and publication process worked, and I'm sure there will be more Flash on the page for promotions in the future.


Funnily enough, I can't see it within the post, because Adblock is being overzealous.

That is useful to know Alan, thanks

When I looked at the page at work (after seeing it mentioned on POV) it stopped everything on my pc working until the flash thingy loaded.

I hate that. :( If I can't see the browser for a few moments, I'd like to be able to use the other browser I invariably have open, or my emails, or anything else I've got on my desktop, rather than everything stop working at once. I'd be really disappointed if the BBC made that a regular feature.

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