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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Why people don't like flash

 12:14 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Recently I have had to deal with other peoples flash movies. These things are huge. Why is it that flash designers create flash movies for website frills and splash pages (not games and stuff like that) that are over 150k? I am looking at navigation that is over 50k.

I think people need to remember that flash is a vector program. It is like freehand and illustrator. Pictures are raster not vector. Why are people using so many pictures in these files? A few small pictures are fine, but loading them down with pictures makes these movies huge. If you want a picture to float around then use dhtml.

Most of the content in a flash file should be vector art. I try to make all of my flash navigation below 10K. Vector based symbols will make a movie quite small. I hear so many people trashing flash. If it is implemented well then it can add to the usability and the design.

Text buttons are another problem. Designers need to put a square or oval behind the text in the button symbol. I hate having to put my cursor exactly on letters. A simple shape behind the text on the button will cure this problem.

Please keep your movies small.



 12:29 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

File size is not the only issue.

How long some designers try to force people to watch their self gratifying mumbojumbo intros is another. I hope more designers to be more sensitive about the way they are offering content.

I really dont need to stand a minute of psychedelic nonsense before I can get some company's phone number. Please show the menu and let users decide what they want to have.


 12:36 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

>psychedelic nonsense :)

I completely agree with that also. Websites are not tv. The user does not need to be hijacked. The web is about choices. I should not be forced to see a commercial. If I wanted that I could watch the tv.


 12:40 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

their are other issues

people without flash players, size of the flash video in relation to users resolution (can look very silly) and mac's 100%, commercially people want info, not a hypnotic experience.


 12:48 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Has'nt this topic been bashed enough by WMW?

<yawn>Yes people don't like waiting, yes its not SEO friendly, yes no one likes long intros.</yawn>

Flash is a tool which can be used well or used poorly. Dont blame Flash, blame the designer.

Please lets change the record and talk about something that has'nt been discussed a million times.


 3:38 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Has'nt this topic been bashed enough by WebmasterWorld?

I dont recall a single time Flash beeing bashed by WebmasterWorld. WebmasterWorld MEMBERS just happend to need to talk about it for another round.

>>Dont blame Flash, blame the designer.

Read this whole thread again and please find me one single place where Flash was blamed.

>>Please lets change the record and talk about something that has'nt been discussed a million times.

There is plenty of topics that need to be discussed on a regular basis in some webmaster board. Like "How to get in Google", "Do I need to pay Yahoo?", "Why was I dropped?", "How to make a pop up?" or "Will Google penalise me if I pick my nose in front of the screen?".

You see, that is how a public board works. Some new members come in with different background or luggage and ask question or post comments every day. Some older members learn every day from different forums on topics they wouldn't even imagined before.

So, next time your are not interested about some topic, why don't you just ignore it? Let people talk to each other, that is the essence of any board.


 3:59 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I dont recall a single time Flash beeing bashed by WebmasterWorld

*sigh* yes I do realise that WMW does'nt have a policy on the subject I thought you would realise that I was actually talking about members.

>>find me one single place where Flash was blamed.

I never accused anyone of blaming Flash - just making a comment on people that dont like Flash in response to the thread title "Why people don't like flash".

>>So, next time your are not interested about some topic, just ignore it.

But I am VERY interested in Flash I just want to express my opinion, You see, that is how a public board works. ;)


 4:04 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your contribution. Your input is so much appreciated.


 4:28 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think that the Web (HTML + HTTP) is a good foundation for providing access to Flash movies. I don't think that Flash movies are a good foundation for provding access to Web content.


 4:31 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

@ first people disliked it because they required plugins and downloads. Since then users have adapted to such installments or its included or easily accessable upon need of installation making it not such a daunty task for unsaphisticated web users. :) A flash site can be built in such a manner where it isnt dependant on size, when the file is playing more downloads for the next sections and so on so the user doesnt see the download timeouts after the first 5 seconds.

I like flash when it gives me the option to turn off sound, to skip intros and to see a non-flash version of the site. Shows creativity and another way to portfolioize a project or campaign.


 5:09 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Knighty I love flash. I am upset that designers are notorious for misusing such a powerful tool.

I am frustrated with the fact that flash has been around for a while and most flash developers cannot harness its power. The reason for the post is that maybe here at WMW we can talk about making flash useful in our pages.

Some people will always believe that text only sites are the best way to go. I don't. I use graphics and flash. I try to keep my pages small, but I also think of my audience. I do a lot of intranet work. I can run huge movies, and in these environments they are expected. When I am on the Internet I try to stay under 40K.

There are plenty of tips that us flash people can give others.


 8:20 am on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Korkus : am upset that designers are notorious for misusing such a powerful tool.

Yeah me too, I'm just fed up with Flash-Haters instead of People-that-designed-the-flash-haters ;)

I think people hate flash because they have seen too many bad flash sites and only equate it with lengthy intros and spinning high end 3D graphics.

Also content can be delivered by flash its just that most of the time the content would probbably be best delivered by normal HTML. A help section on a site that actually shows what buttons to click on etc is a lot more helpful than a few screenshots. Flash is interactive and thats where most of its use lies.


 8:56 am on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)


I do agree that flash is a powerful, and useful tool; though i do agree with CIML's statement.

Of course it will always come down to the designer who chooses to use flash, as in their abilities, but their are too many extranous variables, that stop me from utilising it on commercial projects.


 4:10 pm on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I like the idea of .swf instead of .gif for quite a lot of uses (such as maps), but not until it stops trapping the focus during keyboard navigation. I'm not sure if it's Flash or the IE implementation, but it really annoys me.

Hopefully it will change soon. To give them their credit, Macromedia have been working hard with the Web Accessibility Initiative [w3.org] and other groups on making Flash accessible. Convincing Web designers, on the other hand, will take considerably longer.


 4:17 pm on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

My biggest pet peeve with Flash is it limits the use of the back button and the right click. Those are two things I am always using and a site that is completly Flash limits the use of those. If Flash is used on a site it should add something to the site that can't be done with standard HTML. It shouldn't dominate the site.


 4:31 pm on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't believe it's Flash everyone hates. I think it's the way people use it. Flash can be an excellent design tool and can help build some excellent looking sites. It also has abilities to link into some programming languages. However, it is annoying when people use it to develop annoying splash pages and movies people just don't want to watch.


I'm not a big Flash fan


 6:53 am on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think that the Web (HTML + HTTP) is a good foundation for providing access to Flash movies. I don't think that Flash movies are a good foundation for provding access to Web content.

Ciml, it could not be stated better!

I've trekked through some absolutely horrid flash sites recently... And yes, it IS the designers fault. But Flash is a "loaded gun" waiting to go off... and most new designers (and too many experienced) can't wait to pull the trigger... over and over and over again.


 8:13 am on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I don't think that Flash movies are a good foundation for provding access to Web content.

But how do you define content? Content can actually be Flash movies - there are sites that revolve around images, multimedia that NEED flash otherwise the content would not be available. There are some things that HTML cannot do and thats where Flash comes in.

Flash should not hinder access to content but improve it, used in the right hands Flash can excel at this...unfortuently a lot ot the time its not in the right hands.


 8:39 am on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

just to say people hate flash is like saying people

Hate jpg love gif,
Hate avi love mpg,
Hate xml love html

The internet is a mixture of many different components and a site with just plain new times roman font and 1meg images and a download time of days is a lot worse than a 200k flash presentation.

I use flash of the odd animation or cloaking an email address I can say I honestly say I donít hate flash, I donít like what some flash designerís do but then I donít like what some html designers do.

Flash is just another web tool, over do it and you get bad results like 100 animated flashing Gifís



 4:21 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think Flash is a very useful tool...we are looking at using it very extensively over the next year or two for web based training materials

what doesn't impress me about Flash is the fact that it exists at all...any more than I'm impressed by the fact that gifs can be animated...if I want second rate animation I can always subscribe to the Cartoon Channel

the golden rule applies to Flash just as it does to every other aspect of design..."because I can" is not sufficient reason to do something


 5:45 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I don't think that Flash movies are a good foundation for provding access to Web content.
> But how do you define content?

The reason for Flash being suited to "cloaking an email address", as DaveN puts it, is one of the reasons for it not being suited to providing access to your contact and location details if you want customers and prospects to be able to get in touch easily.

There have been many methods for hypermedia publishing before and since the Web, but we take the special properties of the Web for granted. I think that part of the reason is that the words are quite ugly:). The heterogeneity (horrid word for cross-platform portability) and multimodality (horrid word for being used in different ways) of Flash is nowhere near that of HTML, even though Flash is getting more accessible.

I don't hate Flash; I just don't appreciate its use instead of HTML for providing navigation to Web content.

Tim Berners-Lee 1998:
The Semantic Web is an attempt, largely, to map large quantities of existing data onto a common langauge so that the data can be analysed in ways never dreamed of by its creators.

Flash has a long way to go to match structured markup languages. IMO it shouldn't try to, as it's much better at other things.


 7:10 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I love Flash, in fact its my weapon of choice for when making regular graphics....

What really ticks me of is people who use SWISH for all of their titles and garbage on their sites... To me, thats cheating, and looks garbage... Please peoples, stop with the SWISH..



 9:07 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

The right-click issue is true, but the bcak & forward buttons can be easily handled. Flash support calling javascript, so the only thing is that you write a js to these events. Working perfectly even changing the flash file.
I think most of the designers should stay by photoshop, cause flashpower is in actionscript.



 9:44 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am surprized that Flash's action script ability is not used much by flash developers for normal sites. I have used it for updating content on the fly and using xml data. It may just be too much for people who never learned Lingo.


 3:34 am on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I realize that I'm posting this nearly two full months after the fact, but I also realize (or assume, if you prefer) that other people read older threads that don't appear on the first forum view.


I've never run across any giant flash intros or second-rate animation.

I'm also not besieged by spam email, spyware, or other forms of malicious advertising.

Why? Simply because I choose to visit only the best independent sites, sites that are well-designed, well-written, and well-healed by the informed among us.

In regard to numberous replies in this thread, almost all of the things that the authors said that flash can't do can in fact be done in flash. It's merely a matter of learning how and staying vigilant.


 12:16 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

jccovey - welcome to WebmasterWorld!

...I choose to visit only the best independent sites, sites that are well-designed, well-written, and well-healed by the informed among us.

And how do you know which sites those are before you click on them? :)


 8:01 am on Aug 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think the comment about Flash being a loaded gun is spot on. There are so many appalling and gratuitous Flash implementations out there that it's easy to see why people groan when they find themselves downloading yet another Flash movie. I reckon 80 or 90% of all Flash movies I have ever seen are simply not needed and/or horribly, horribly implemented. I can't count the number of hours I've wasted watching a "Loading" animation.

This does Flash a disservice. It could be so useful... in the right hands. It just too often ends up in the hands of the sort of people who like glittery, shiny things that spin and flicker.

Flash does have one serious drawback, and it's particularly evident if you have a complex Flash animation with a soundtrack. The speed a Flash movie plays at actually depends on the user's processor speed. Often, a Flash movie has been designed on a machine much faster than my own, so when I play it it slows down perceptably. But the soundtrack, of course, plays at the normal speed with the result that after a few seconds, sound and animation start getting out of synch.


 8:16 am on Aug 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Since we are on the topic, I have to laugh.. their is a competitor of mine, well not really as he is not all that popular - but nonetheless I call him a competitor. He tried to get his site looking all hitech and all jazzy and all this, and I do have to say it does look nice.. but he wayyyyy overdid it. I run on the fatest cable company in the country - no joke- and even I have trouble getting on his site sometimes. Sometimes I cant his site locks me up and I have to kick off the IE and start another. He screwed himself by trying to be all fancy- what did I learn - yes flash can look nice when used in moderation but I choose to stick to basic HTML and just learn adobe really well to create some slick images to make the site look high class.. no waiting for anything to load - sorry flash - not on this site you wont go!

Andrew Thomas

 8:22 am on Aug 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

The way i see it, is that most of my customers always ask me about FLASH, i tell them the pros and cons. and then its upto to them.

But my point is that if my customers like it or are aware of it (the main core of web users with no design knowledge), then it cant be that bad! I think it brings life to a website site, and with most people turning to broadband, a well developed flash site can be very pleasing to the eye. Im no expert in it yet, but im learning gradually, im impressed with FLASH MX and its powerfull action scripting.

Also i think most people are prepared to wait that bit longer for a flash movie to load, as normally what appears is a lot better than a normal HTML page and a lot more interesting. I stay on flash site a hell of a lot longer than normal html sites.

So yes i LIKE flash


 8:42 am on Aug 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

You think people are more likely to wait for a Flash movie to download, but do you have any figures to prove it? It's certainly not been my experience, and I've seen many users bail after 30 seconds because they think the browser has hung (despite a "loading" animation) -- or because they're worried about their next telephone bill.

If by "customers" you mean the target audience of your websites, then congratulations on creating user-friendly, useful and pleasing Flash sites. If, as I suspect, by "customers" you mean the people who commission you to build such sites, then I'm afraid they're possibly the worst people to consult on such matters. In many cases, they've just been to too many Powerpoint presentations and seen too many slick TV adverts and think that that's how a website should be.

Of course, if you have a client who's willing to pay big bucks for a slick Flash site and won't consider anything else, go ahead and earn your bucks. Just don't expect his clients to say "Oh, wow, it was worth waiting three minutes for this site, I've gotta buy something from this company".

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