China Sunergy : Blocking entry

Excessive use of Flash bars new arrivals.

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The Site

China Sunergy, a solar cell manufacturer, runs a Flash introduction in a way that renders its home page unusable as a point of entry on most mobile devices. China Sunergy presents desktop PC users arriving at its home page with a loading screen that slowly prepares the introduction to the website. A 20-second, Flash-based animation then begins to play. No pause/play or volume controls are offered but a ‘skip’ link below the animation jumps the visitor to the end of the introduction, where there is a language selection screen. Only after they have chosen from the five options can the site proper be entered. Arriving at the page on most mobile devices presents a blank white screen. No navigation options can be seen or used.

The Takeaway

Mobile device users arriving at its front door are effectively blanked by China Sunergy due to the entire introductory animation to its site being written in Flash, a technology not supported by iPhones, iPads and a host of other mobile operating systems. This use of Flash is far more limiting, however, than merely using Flash content on a portion of the page. While only the Flash area would then not show up on a mobile device, a full-on introduction such as the one used here presents an immovable barrier to entry. The site is therefore rendered useless to mobile browsers arriving at the most popular point of entry, as they have no means of swerving the unsupported introduction to gain access. The problem could be solved easily by either removing the Flash introduction altogether or having it converted into the more widely supported HTML5 format, a technology that is in ascendancy on the mobile web. Alternatively, language options could be provided outside of the Flash content, below the introduction, allowing mobile device users to enter the site regardless of whether or not the animation is rendered by their browser.
First published 22 November, 2011
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