A simple rectangular progress bar or percentage indicator will do the job, but why stop there? A preloader should be given just as much love and consideration as the rest of the site content, especially on a site that is trying to evoke a mood, or create an immersive experience. If a preloader is engaging enough, the user won't mind waiting for content, and the time it takes to load will seem shorter.
One of the unique features of web content built with Macromedia Flash is the ability to control when and how the content loads. When loading a heavy HTML page, the user is usually stuck looking at a blank window until the content starts appearing. Flash allows for the creation of animated preloaders, which give the user precise information about the progress of the loading process.
The preloader is the first element someone will see when visiting your site. You can make a good first impression by welcoming your visitors with a snappy preloader.
Written by: Joshua Hirsch
Chris, Los Angeles' CSS & ActionScript guru, successfully cannonballed into web development in the late 90's. Always caught up with the latest in Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and XML, Chris authored premium articles for the largest Dreamweaver/Flash community (www.DMXzone.com) and produced WebDevDesign (iTunes featured), a popular Web Design & Development Podcast. Somewhere, Chris finds time to run an authorized Adobe user group focused around open source and Adobe technologies. Being a big community leader, Chris Charlton remains a resident faculty member of the Rich Media Insitute and lends himself to speak at large industry events, like JobStock, NAB, and FITC Hollywood.
Brain cycles from Chris are always Web Standards, Flash Platform, and accessibility.