updated: July 15th, 2006 / Ross Johnson / 1 Comments

Is flash really just hated by designers?

While reading over a thread on Sitepoint that discussed favorite web designers, I came across a post stating that the only people who really dislike heavy flash sites are web designers. I dismissed it quickly at first, as an obviously false statement. However as I thought about it more, I wondered if that really was the case. My conclusion, is that lots of people find poorly designed flash sites to be obnoxious.

The obvious benifits of flash over HTML based sites is the ability to make incredibly complex and eye catching animation and functionality. It truely does produce a notable multimedia experience that is hard to replicate with HTML. The catch is simply that heavy flash sites are using the wrong medium. A eye catching and stunning flash only site can be very impressive… The first time you see it. However, upon returning, or even trying to find the information you are at the website to achive, it becomes an unbelievable frustration.

You have to wait for the intro page, the loader, the increased time for the “trick” animation of content flying into the site, etc Heavy flash usage is perfect for interactive CD’s, where the user access’ the content expecting to spend more time than simply browsing through. Those in charge of developing websites often want to lay on the flash, hoping that people will view the site and be wowed by the incredible animation and multimedia.

Figuring you can really set the mood with music, video, etc Sure, a flash heavy site might accomplish that for some of the potential audience. However, they often forget why people are viewing the website to begin with. If the people were going to the site to see cool flash multimedia, they would go to a site showcasing the capabilities of flash.

The fact of the matter is that people view the web to obtain information. No one goes to a plumbers site to see a 3D plunger fixing a clogged drain. They go to find out about the company, pricing, etc Sure it might be impressive on some level, but majority of people who have gotten past the point of “Flash can be sweet” will simply be annoyed. Further, that will be the first message as a company that you deliver to your potential customer. Hi, I am a plumber, and I am obnoxious and slow…

One thought “Is flash really just hated by designers?

  1. Hi Ross,
    I impressed with your article.This is good subject for discussion. You have done a survey about flash vs. HTML. In my opinion flash is important platform for multimedia related data delivery. You must know about youtube, slideshare, photoshop.com, google video etc. These are the big examples of flash applications. In the aspect of web designing I think If we have an project about singer, painter, actor, product display, photography, you should choose flash instead of HTML, because flash is a tool that can delever songs and music files, videos, images and subject related animation in very impressive way. These are essential for an artist’s website popularity and promotion.

    Himanshu vyas

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