I image if done wrong this could look… so bad. Fortunately for the folks at Kobi in Leeds, they found the people to do it right. The site is well designed, has bright colors, good typography, and an attractive navigation. Then you click a button and everything moves… Not a fade in fade out like you see on so many other flash sites. Oh no, instead the pages all move behind a window as if they were on a roll of paper somewhere inside the site.
I’ve heard of this style of navigation, but never seen it before. Kudos to Kobe for doing it right.
So now that I’ve admired the site for a few sentences, I’m now thinking about some of the pros and cons of this type of layout. The user experience is enriched with the addition of the new eye candy, and there doesn’t appear to be any loss in usability. So the only cons I can find to this type of transition are that you just can’t do this kind of scripting on the timeline in flash and the usual setbacks that apply to all flash sites.
As cool as this is, no novice would be able to code it. (You could if you really wanted to and if the site was small enough, but you would have to make every instance of translation [ie from page A to B, A to C, B to A, B to C, C to A, and finally C to B, etc.] and this only gets more complicated as you get bigger. The alternative used here is to use a single frame movie that houses all pages in one long symbol. Clicking the navigation plays a function that sets the _y property on the movie. Using action script like this also allows you to control the speed and ease of the tween more precisely than using the timeline. Some would say this is the only way to do flash and the more of it I see, the more I agree with them.
Now the other setbacks that apply to all flash movies: lack of a back button support, no out of box ability to deep link into the internal pages of the site, questionably SEO, reduced crawlable content, and a limited site map. All of which can be addressed with third party solutions after the fact by a skilled web designer.