A Flash 3D menu can really make your website stand out from the competition. Since websites generally comprise a number of pages, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, visitors know that virtually every website they come across will include some form of navigation system. In older websites these were typically just simply a list of hyperlinks shoved to one side of the main page.
As the internet grew and people became more savvy when it came to website design, these were often replaced with graphical images and pictures of buttons. This helped to create a look which was at the same time more attractive, and more professional. At least, it looked professional if it was done well, but like so many things on the internet, there are countless examples of this being done very poorly. On the other hand, Flash 3D menus are, to say the least, highly professional looking.
Beyond buttons were scripted menus, and these relied on specialist languages such as DHTML and Java, but the problems with these were compatibility. Frequently the DHTML menus were only suited for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and using any other browser resulted in a blank space or an error message. This, naturally, prevented visitors from being able to navigate the website at all, and doesn't help promote your site or your products.
One of the developments of the web to make more impact than any other has been Flash, and this software has provided a fantastic opportunity for web designers to create websites which not only look very smart and professional, with a level of sophistication that makes them stand out from the crowd, but it is what is termed cross browser compatible. In other words, it makes no difference whether you are using Internet Explorer, Firefox or Netscape Navigator, and if you're using a Mac rather than a PC, again it won't make any difference. A Flash menu immediately has a number of advantages, and if you're thinking of using a 3D menu or a Flash 3D menu, then the advantages just keep stacking up.
First and foremost, the initial look of your site will catch the visitors’ attention, and this alone is a challenging task. People flick happily from one website to another in much the same way that they do when switching channels on the television, looking for something to watch. If a website looks interesting, unusual and well designed, then it is more likely to retain those casual visitors. A 3D menu has another advantage of course - it draws the visitors in, and if it is interactive too, then the visitor may well be intrigued by the menu system alone, and start exploring it.
Often with websites in the past it has been a balancing act between providing content that looks smart, and is sophisticated and intriguing, but at the same time, deciding just how many potential visitors you are happy to block, since the use of fancy scripts and add-ons usually mean that people will either not be able to see your site, or can only do so if they either lower their security settings or install an extra plug-in. Unless they are really desperate to see your site, then the chances are they would do neither. However, by using a Flash menu you can forget these two worries, since it is perfectly compatible with virtually every computer system, and makes no requirements as far as security is concerned. Creating a Flash menu is fairly straightforward, although if you are looking for a 3D menu, this might be more of a challenge.
If you're good at scripting Flash, then you may well be able to create something, although a far simpler option is to use one of the pre-made products available for you to fully customize. The moment a visitor sees your 3D menu they will be intrigued by the way it works, and anything which is three dimensional and interactive naturally draws people in. Computer screens are flat objects, and as such create a barrier between a visitor and the website.
A Flash 3D menu creates a simulated depth which psychologically removes that barrier and draws the visitor in to the website in more than a simple passive way they become an active part of the site, and physically involved with it. This is almost certain to mean that they will stay longer, take on board more of what you are offering, and remember your website long after the others they visited that day have been forgotten.
Let's be clear, creating a 3D menu is not an easy task, so I fully recommend you use a product already created by a professional, and then customize this to suit your website design and links, but let's also be clear that the advantages of including a Flash 3D menu in your website are that your visitors will remain on your pages for longer, and through becoming more actively involved and intrigued by your site, remember you for longer. This encourages links back, repeated visitors and greater attention all positive results in the competitive world of website popularity.
For more information on how to use Flash to jazz up your website and provide your customers with a great website experience, check out Flashloaded - You will not be disappointed.