My feelings towards flash haven't changed it's a powerful tool and used correctly can produce some stunning sites, the problem is (some) designers just use it to top up there failing skills to produce a flash navigation to a site.
I access the web through a fast DSL connection... I avoid flash sites for all but the most pressing occasions.
When given the chance between a flash version or html version of a site, I will always opt for the html.
You know, it's funny, I don't even enjoy the "artistic flash sites" anymore. I guess I have been subjected to too much "artsy-cuteness" and "mystery-meat-navigation" to last a good long while.
I can see flash applied within a site for added content. In fact, I may (or may not) still make use of this myself.
Right now I am more concerned with other aspects of web development.
When I want a video game, I'll toss Halo in the ole XBOX and when I want cartoons... well I know when the Simpson's and King Of The Hill come on.... ;)
I think there has been some improvement. I like it better than a year ago, but thats not saying much at all!
My key problem with flash is that it is proprietary and nothing you create with it can ever be 100% your own, unlike JPG, PNG, HTML, JS, ASP, XML RSS PHP and all the rest. Basically you lose control over your own creation, until you can export flash to non-proprietary formats. Im no expert, but I dont think that capability exists and probably never will.
I'm still not a BIG fan of it, but here's a site I think uses it well. [silverstageplayers.org...]
It's a theater company and I think in this instance, the Flash is appropriate.
Mmmm classic example of a flash site :( everything in one flash intro, flash navigation, need I say anymore
|brotherhood of LAN|
Ahh those were the days? I see some names there still actively posting ;) Im not one of them
Just as a new person into the crowd, I would say the general consensus then was "not good" but now, people are more appreciative of its advantages but remember that you need the "bulk" of text sites to get yourself picked up by the SE's
My opinion on flash - can be used sparingly, i.e. barely noticable that its being used
I have a friend who designed a pretty fun chess variant for four players. I have been toying with the idea of building a multiplayer environment for this game. Its going to be either flash or Java, there are no other reasonable choices. I know java reasonably well, so thus I'm leaning towards flash. There are some uses for the stuff, but its definitely not to be used as just a marketing tool.
I'm seeing less obnoxious use of Flash, so the designers seem to be learning. That's a plus... but I still don't see it as a useful enough tool to learn myself.
I can't help but think Flash has a lot of promise outside the realm of animation, but I'm not sure what its "big break" will be outside cartoons and clever banner ads....
I used to be enamoured of Flash and learned how to use it. I did one site where I used Flash for the banner of each page. It would load like a gif, then something would fly across the banner.
I could have done it with an animated gif too, but I was learning flash.
I become annoyed with having to wait through a Flash presentation the second time. The first time I might watch it, but not always.
I see there is a new version out, but I haven't used it at all since V4. I really don't have a need for it, nor do clients ask for it anymore.
This summer I have a site I will be redesigning and I thought it would be great in Flash. A music series - most of the information for the year's events can be incorporated into one Flash page rather than drop down lists and separate pages. I could do more graphically as well.
But I haven't signed off on it yet. I might just stick with good ole HTML.
Flash has it's places I'm sure, but I haven't seen to many I like.
Funny how this works. This morning I was nearly killed by a truck that ran a red light. I got the license and the website from the back and was going to call them to report the driver.
It happens that the site was in Flash, and a very nice implementation I might add!
But I'm still going to report the driver!
what a wonderful world we live in
Generally I'll take the HTML versionof the site if one is offered as an alternative to Flash, I'm on broadband, but I couldn't be bothered to wait for the animations.
Sometimes if I'm just surfing at random I'll check out some of those "artistic" flash sites, but usually I'm more interested in the Photoshop art design than anything else.
Good point Kaspian! When I have an urge to vist "art sites" nothing (yet!) beat good ole bitmapped graphics.
Try loading decent quality .jpg's into a Flash presentation and watch the bandwidth requirements jump....
Vector graphics have their applications, even artistically, but they do not match the broad appeal of standard images.
>>It's a theater company and I think in this instance, the Flash is appropriate.
Ugh. Personally, I think it's a good example of what's wrong with most implementations of Flash in a hybrid Flash/html site. Just because you can have a bunch of movement and stuff bouncing around doesn't mean you should. I find it very difficult to read the content on that site because of the distraction caused by all the frenetic Flash elements (well, not to mention the jarring colors used even in the html sections). And the Flash intro... adds nothing, just wastes time.
I'll at least complement them on not using little blip and swoosh sound effects with the navigation.
|When I want a video game, I'll toss Halo in the ole XBOX |
Off the subject..but HALO ROCKS!!!
I try to avoid Flash at all costs. There are a few types of sites where I can see it being very useful but for most ecommerce sites I can see no purpose for it. Entertainment based sites can and do use it well in many instances but that is where it should stay.
At the risk of being exiled into FOO, Halo, is AWESOME! Seen any HUNTERS? I got something for them....! ;)
The point is, and I thing most of us would agree, is that Flash DOES have its uses... they are just not as widespread, nor as crucial as Macromedia's marketing department would have us believe.
In the case of flash, even where appropriate, less is more....
Flash, Flash, Flash...I definitely take the html version over flash. Sometimes I wonder if designers are out for their own ego?
But, before my head gets chopped off, I do feel that, when used approprietly, Flash can be useful in bits and pieces to enhance a specific element of a web site. But to design a whole web site in flash is just nonsense.
We just took on a designer (with an art school degree) who is WAY into Flash. The first thing I did was feed him a diet of Usability studies, books and websites.
When he can talk intelligently about Information Architecture, Navigation and Usablity, then we'll open up the Pandora's Box of Flash goodies.
When Flash first hit the stage, most people felt the excitement of their website being turned into a multimedia extravaganza. Just like TV.
Now that the majority of surfers including professionals have voiced their distaste for Flash (waiting to load, useless and empty non-messages,technical challenges) - hardly anyone mentions it anymore when talking to new clients. As a matter of fact, the past 20 instances I have had with people that were wanting a new website never gave it any consideration. I did mention it but no interest at all. My site used to have a Flash intro. I became so annoyed with my own site - I took it out.
Oh, and I also click the HTML version if Flash or HTML choice is offered. If I want a movie, I'll rent one.
True true most sites that use flash dont really NEED to use it, especially in some crusty navigation bar... And i also choose HTML over flash since my comp is too dang slow!!!
But i still love flash, and its innovativeness in letting almost anyone with creativity make a nice looking movie. Its extreme ease of use makes me a big fan of it, not for web usage, but for making static vector graphics in it. Ill use Flash over Illustrator anyday!
Those Macromedia folks are geniuses. Flash adds a huge aspect of interactivity to the web, so let us praise it!
I just followed a link from a gorgeous site to their web developer's site. I was delivered a splash page that stated that I do not have the Flash 4 plugin and provided a link to download it. If I didn't, I could not enter the site.
I did not choose to download it, and when I tried the back button to return to the site I followed the link from, it was disabled and I couldn't.
It's encountering practices like that one, that are aggressively abusive to surfers, that cause people like myself to absolutely LOATHE Flash. In my book, trapping a person against their will, literally incarcerating them on a web page they don't want to see, is abusive treatment. I wanted to read something about them; I did not want to see their movie.
Unfortunately, the inconsiderate, egotistical designers like that one have been instrumental in developing the widespread prejudice against Flash.
Has it really been a year? Geez, I feel old.
my incoherent thoughts:
No Flash-heavy sites have crept into my daily routine
... or, for that matter, my weekly or monthly routines.
I am seeing less Flash than a year ago
... less VC funny money than a year ago?
I rarely use Flash that is found via my own surfing.
... but will use Flash emailed by trusted sources.
I agree that Flash is slicker than animated GIFs
... but since when are GIFs the holy grail of profit?
Flash is perfect for some applications
... and applications trump animations.
Bring on more vital Flash applications... bring 'em on, already!
one word = Kartoo
Marcia, you hit on perhaps the key issue regarding many negative feelings towards Flash: the sense of entrapment, being funneled into a situation not of our choosing. I can recall a number of Flash authored sites I have surfed into, only to discover a situation much as the one you describe. Obviously it is the "designer" who is at fault and not the tool (Flash), but the end result is annoyance with the software that provides the means for such audaciousness.
Through varied "bad" experience with Flash authored sites, many of us have become as predictable as "Pavlov's Dog" - though instead of salivating at the tone of a bell, we have been taught to cringe at the site of "loading... loading... loading..." Brrrr! Gives me the shivers!
In a recent trawl through local web-dev sites, three of the "top" ones had Flash intros without the option.
I keep an eye on some of our design forums, and the general attitude to clients and project managers "interference" is mind-boggling.
If you thought the SEO world was somewhat parochial and self absorbed, these guys make us look like Renaissance men/women.
As I surf, I tend to avoid flash sites. I've found them overblown and usually lacking in content. I know this is a generalization, but many of the flash sites I've seen look great but don't say anything.
A great flash site, however, is deepfriedlive.com. To me this is what a flash site should be.
That site rocks. (On my high bandwidth office connection... I'll have to try it at home, with a modem, when I actually have time to read it all.)
Could the content be presented in HTML? Sure. But how tremendously stylish the whole thing is, and with good content galore, and good usability... and it finally explained the whole questionable process of cooking a turkey in a deep fryer for me.
Now I should really get back to work... ;)
The deepfried site is a good use for Flash, because the user is expecting a movie.
If I'm not expecting a movie, I don't want to sit through one more than once.
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