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Effective use of Flash for business websites
How can we use Flash effectively?
Nick_W




msg:857689
 4:33 pm on Sep 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

In this thread [webmasterworld.com] we talked about how all flash websites (ie: one big file) is a bad thing.

What effective uses of Flash have you implemented or seen in a small to medium sized business website?

Cheers

Nick

 

Mardi_Gras




msg:857690
 4:36 pm on Sep 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

We use it for interactive maps of real estate developments. I've seen it used very effectively for some product demos as well.

Nick_W




msg:857691
 4:43 pm on Sep 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes, product demos was the first thing I thought of.

Also, small, non-essential enhancements such as logo's and 'teasers',

Nick

BlobFisk




msg:857692
 4:46 pm on Sep 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

The very best use I have seen is on the Broadmoor Hotel site. Specifically their reservations system: reservations.broadmoor.com [reservations.broadmoor.com].

The reservation system is done by iHotel, but it's very, very nice. I have used Flash to do product showcasing for SME sites... but I tend to shy away from it in general.

copongcopong




msg:857693
 12:51 am on Sep 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think flash is at its best when used for deploying online learning schools that uses diagrams, pictures, etc ... like networking lessons of oracle.

BTW, I have seen the hotel site that was given above, when Macromedia Studio MX was launch here in Manila, Phils. and they use it as an example. :)

edit_g




msg:857694
 8:53 am on Sep 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yup- Macromedia did the same thing in London with the Broadmoor site.

We use it a lot for interactive maps and in one instance, for building a menu system. It is always a struggle for the designers to get it pushed through, however, which is good. Flash should only be used when there is a specific reason no other tool can do the job. Many sites have flash just for the sake of flash (or because they are paying some designer $$ and need to use her).

mivox




msg:857695
 4:54 pm on Sep 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've seen flash used extrememly well for interactive technical presentations... where the whole thing is basically a step-by-step animated diagram, with points where the user can interact with the animation, stopping it, clicking for more information, etc.

Excellent work.

bacana




msg:857696
 11:46 am on Sep 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Flash usage depends a lot on scripting. I have noticed that doing lots and I mean lots of things using the actionscript of Flash, has significantly reduced the size of files, making it much faster to load. By using AS (action script) will keep users interest, and interaction to you business site.

dhdweb




msg:857697
 5:01 pm on Sep 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just created an Order Wizard for one of my sites with Flash, kind of a one page shopping cart. Customers are taken through the order proccess step by step, then all the calculations are done in flash and the output gets sent to a printable page, so now all I have to do is send one var to payment proccessing.

A lot of action scripting is used and it took a while to work out the bugs, but the end result is a very user friendly interface! Even added options to go back an edit the info being supplied before final submition.

dhdweb

Nick_W




msg:857698
 6:01 pm on Sep 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Do 'non flash' users not concern you?

Sound cool but.....

Nick

dhdweb




msg:857699
 7:07 pm on Sep 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Who doesn't have Flash? All major browsers have the plug-in by default! Plus, it is designed with Flash 4 in mind for those who have not upgraded. And on top of that, I have a way for them to contact me for a manual order. And if all else fails, and they don't want to do that, I have a link to a blank order form that they can print out and mail or fax to me.

To date I have not had a manual order placed :)

dhdweb

Nick_W




msg:857700
 7:17 pm on Sep 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes, I imagine the 'non flash' visitor is not a problem.

Moz 1.0 for Linux didn't come with it pre-installed though... Guess that's also a minimal group though ;)

Nick

dingman




msg:857701
 3:47 pm on Sep 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

And on top of that, I have a way for them to contact me for a manual order

dhweb - I'm not sure I'm in a demographic you are targeting, but I never install flash even when I'm using a Windows machine, which is rare away from work. (And even work has plans to switch to Linux eventually) If my alternatives were to use a flash order form, a maual order, or print out an order form and mail it in, I'd take option (d) and buy from your competitor. I have only once ever filled out a manual order form for a product with a web site, and that was for some particularly excellent Sri Lankan tea that as far as I was concerned didn't *have* any competitors. I probably wouldn't even have done that if an ex girlfriend hadn't given me some that she brought back from Sri Lanka, convincing me that the stuff was three or four cuts above my usual source. They have since upgraded their site to have an ordering system I can use. If you want my business, flash needs to be incidental to the functionality of your site.

dhdweb




msg:857702
 6:51 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

People who are savy enough not to install flash or users running off the norm OS's and or browsers, most likely won't need my service anyway! :)

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