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splash page

On the web, a splash page is an introduction to a website, placed before the homepage. These pages are often animated and introduce the products, services or mission of the organisation.

The term is borrowed from computer program loading or ‘start-up’ screens containing company and author credits along with copyright and patent notices.

‘Skip intro’

Splash pages are an anachronism from the early days of web design (i.e. late 90s), typically relying on a person entering a website by way of the domain name.

With the growth in the use of search engines, a user is more likely to link directly to a content page, by-passing the splash page and reducing the effectiveness of the splash page as a branding exercise.

…a 30-second animation rarely supports completing a task.

A companion reason for the demise of the splash page is the psychology of web-use—users are typically task-oriented, and a 30-second animation rarely supports completing a task. As a concession to this reality, ‘modern’ splash pages often feature a ‘skip intro’ option.

The term ‘splash’ is derived from the language of space exploration where, upon re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere, the manned capsule landed in the ocean, or ‘splashed down’.

Related terms: Flash, gateway page, landing page

 

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