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Glossary » splash page

splash page

or splash screen; a website homepage that is used for emotional impact and has very little navigation or information. Instead, it typically just displays a large and stunning graphic or a simple typographic message to intrigue the viewer and lure them into the website.

In practice, it’s rarely a good idea, since it wastes precious download time for the user, it obscures by not including critical information about the website, and it delays the time that a person actually enters and starts using the website, increasing the probability that you’ve exceeded the user’s patience or attention span and they’ve left for another site before they even figured out what yours was. Splash pages open up numerous opportunities for poor design such that users can’t find their way into a website.

Frequent problems include:

    • not including clear navigation or a clear means of entering into the website – many users will not discover that they can click on the image to enter if the image doesn’t clearly say so.
    • providing no clear options to users who do not load images.
    • requiring the use of plug-ins or browser features that are not backward-compatible, so that many users are excluded because of the capabilities of their machines or the type of browser they’ve chosen to use.