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I'm building a small business webpage - just a few subpages with not much text, based on twitter bootstrap. Lately there's an example of cover which I really like and want to use as a splash screen. I know that splash screens are othen considered as a bad practice, but for this purpose - just to open home and amaze user visually, it would be OK.

Putting aside SEO, the question is: should I use that splash instead of a typical homepage so that structure would be like:

  • splash (url: /)
  • offer (/offer)
  • contact (/contact)

or with it like:

  • splash (url: /)
  • homepage (/homepage) - a standard homepage as a complementation of splash
  • offer (/offer)
  • contact (/contact)
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I would suggest not to use Splash screen:

Pros/cons of splash-screen with articifial loading delay

What are the reasons against using a Splash Screen for a website?

you can find many more examples all over the internet...

Instead why don't you use a big image or a video like: http://mailchimp.com/goes-with-you/ or have a "modal overlay". Modal overlay could act like a splash screen, make sure to add cookies so the user doesn't see it every time they come to your website. This approach will solve the SEO problems and the structure:

  • homepage+splash(once)
  • offer
  • contact

Defiantly not splash on index homepage that is just complementation to splash...

  • You could just as easily find list of resources as to why a modal overlay shouldn't be used on websites (accessibility, compatibility with touch devices...). – JonW Feb 11 '14 at 11:08
  • @JonW Yes that is true, I'm saying that he shouldn't use it. And only if it's a must they could use modals, github.com/jschr/bootstrap-modal here is a nice unofficial bootstrap modal that works well for mobile. Not quite sure what problems it could cause in terms of accessibility, might be wrong... – Igor-G Feb 11 '14 at 11:46
  • Common issues with modals and accessibility are things like tab order (i.e. the cursor not moving into the modal dialog) as well as screenreader users not being made aware than new content has been displayed on the screen (so they may be unaware that a modal is even present). – JonW Feb 11 '14 at 12:08
  • I can see where you are coming from but in this case the modal wouldn't be used as a new content display. I'm suggesting the 1st content[section or div] of the HTML page stylised as modal(overlay) as if it's laying over the homepage. This way the tabbing wouldn't be an issue as well. hope that makes sense... – Igor-G Feb 11 '14 at 12:14
  • That mailchimp is really nice. Thanks for convincing me, I'm sticking with what is right – Tom Feb 11 '14 at 18:00
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When deciding whether you want to include any functionality / feature then you have to link it back to an actual business requirement.

When planning a site the first thing I do is spend time identifying specific, measurable business requirements for what the site needs to accomplish.

Having done so then you can come up with feature requests and ideas of what you want to include in the site. Having this big list of ideas (such as your splash screen) you then need to link those ideas back to the business requirements, and if the feature you have come up with can produce a measurable benefit on a requirement then you're good to go with it. If it's not going to provide any measurable benefit then really you're just going to be (at best) wasting your time and money implementing it, and at worst actually detracting from the goal of the site.

UX isn't about coming up with fancy devices that people like looking at; if you can't measure any benefit in doing so then it's not worth proceeding with. It's good to come up with all these ideas up-front regardless of how crazy they may or may not be because they very well could provide a business benefit. But equally they may not.

If 'amaze user visually' is something you can measure, and it has a direct measurable benefit to the business requirements then go for it. But that's going to be something hard to measure, in my opinion.

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    Good point, I forgot about that, and I should't... Note to self: always remember about requirements and ROI. I think in my case using that splash could be a good idea, but I can achieve similar visual effect using something else and benefit from a good approach. Thanks :) – Tom Feb 11 '14 at 17:11

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