love - when its appropiate and really well thought out
like - when it smooth and flowing
neutral - when it doesnt really accomplish anything
dislike - when its poorly done or used innapropiatley
hate - when its crap, slow etc
love/hate - when its good but just done "Cos look I can do this"
As for daily visited flash sites i would say very few.
I love flash for sites whose sole purpose is to entertain me.
I hate it for any information or transaction based sites, although a snappy flash banner here and there is fine.
None. My daily sites are all information driven.
1. I hate Flash!!!! 'Blue hyperlinks and text only' all the way man ;)
2. I only visit WmW on a daily basis. And oh yes I run over to Yahoo to get a "fix" for my 'blue hyperlinks and text only' fetish every once in a while.
1)Hate flash. I don't have time in my life to wait for the downloads..
2) Almost none..I avoid them. When there is a choice for "flash driven" or "regular html", I go regular html.
I like Flash as a multimedia tool rather than a net tool. It's great for corporate presentations or to have running a computer in your booth at a tradeshow. Do not put it on your website if you can help it.
None of the sites I visit on a regular basis have Flash.
1. love/hate - I love the way it *can* be used... for innovative navigation, good ad design, high-quality entertainment sites... (nothin' beats a good round of 'fling the cow'). I hate the way it's most commonly used... gratuitous intro animations, eye-popping "Look ma! No taste!" sites... The smoothness and scalability of swf files could be such a boon to the aesthetics of the web, but very few people seem to have figured out how to use it to the best advantage.
2. I don't visit any Flash sites daily. If I visit a site daily, it's because it has frequently updated information... and you don't really see that with Flash sites.
>1)Hate flash. I don't have time in my life to wait for the downloads..
>2) Almost none..I avoid them. When there is a choice for "flash driven" or "regular html", I go regular html.
Ditto. I didn't install Flash last time. I get the "download now" pop-up, but the link to the html version shows up soooooo much faster. I also only get a still picture in all those new ad spaces.
Here's a question:
Why don't sites open with html and ask if you want to see the flash?
Answer: Because the art guys are designing the sites. If a company wants to see what the user wants, set it up html for awhile and see how many opt for the flash version.
1. It's OKish, but I haven't found the "complete" flash site yet. Still looking for one that contains a great intro [e3direktiv.com], innovative navigation [matinee.co.uk] and which still retains the usability [kennethcole.com] of vanilla HTML.
I'm relieved to see I haven't accidentally started WWIII...
Thanks to all who have replied so far. My reason for asking is this: every time I think about finally learning Flash, I find another reason to put it off. Like the other day when I couldn't think of a "Flash site" I've been to twice, much less regularly (excluding Macromedia for obvious reasons). I'm sure there have been some, but they must not have left an impact.
So the question I'm wrestling with is...
...will Flash remain primarily the domain of infrequently used sites, or will it become a vital part of everyday sites?
I think you better start now sean. Flash isn't going away and being able to use it only makes you more valuable.
We really always need to equivocate, and use the "D" word... demographics, your audience should be the ones that decide. Also, as faster access becomes more mainstream, Flash will become more acceptable, too. Right now, for dialups, I'd have to rank it right along with pop-ups.
But BH is right, too. You can't go wrong with acquiring the knowledge.
Yeah RC is right, its all about demographics,
If you are a hollywood producer and just want to make mega bucks do you go for the subtitled foreign film or the latest action packed stunt fest starring Arnie?
If you are a 'serious' art critic even though the 1st choice may have more depth and meaning you know that Joe Bloggs will rather sit through 2 hrs of mindless violence than 2 hrs of intellectual pondering.
The World Web isn't much different sure there are people who just want good content, no gimmincks, no special effects.
BUT there are also those people who say "oooh look pretty pictures!" they want to be beddazzled by those professional designers.
Wether you like it or not people will want flash and if you dont know how to create flash content then sooner or later you're going to miss out on potential clients.
Animated gifs anyone? ;)
BTW The best book I've read on Flash is undoubtedly the Flash 4 Bible. That goes for the Fireworks 3 Bible too. Exceptional.
>BUT there are also those people who say "oooh look pretty pictures!" they want to be beddazzled by those professional designers.
Ahhh! But there's another demographics problem, and it involves the very same individual visitor. UNlike other media, I think a surfer evolves through certain stages in their online tastes and habits, basically going from loving eye-candy to hating it in a span of a few weeks. I've informally studied this evolution and we're not talking just techies here. Some who -at first- loved and gushed over background images, animated gifs, pastel fonts, page ornaments, etc. went to "gimmee black on white" in about three months. So, if you're designing a One-Hit-Wonder you might get by with flash on the opening page, but if you expect that site to develop repeat traffic you'd better reconsider the plan or at least provide them a side door. If you really want to put me in a rage, load up the login page with flash.
Thanks for the reference BH. I'll probably add it to the other Macromedia Bibles and dabble a bit. How about some links to Flash coolness... or maybe some links to Flash usefulness? ;) I've seen enough "cool" Flash for one lifetime, but I'd still like to see more examples of Flash used to solve real problems, even small problems. Are there any Flash uses that you see most sites adopting in the not-too-distant future, even sites that are primarily non-Flash?
That "innovative navigation" you linked to wouldn't stop when I closed my window...I had to kill my browser...and I don't call that 'innovative', I call that "mystery meat" [websitesthatsuck.com]...
But I actually kinda liked the third one you posted...a lot. It was flash that didn't completely suck. I could immediately navigate to get to what I wanted. I like that a lot. And, it's the first one I have seen that didn't make wait through an intro...
It is just so standofish of people to assume we want to wait for their frickin flash introduction. I don't come to a site to watch their marketing droids spew out dribble. I come either to get information or buy something. And making me watch cr*p just makes me ~not~ want to do either of those two things...I will go elsewhere.
**Heather notices everyone suddenly very quiet watching her and moving throwable things *away* from her. She slinks down into her chair.**
Thanks. I feel better.
From the 'mystery meat' link above:
"Web design is not about art, it's about making money. To make money, you don't want to design a site that might confuse someone."
I must say: BULLSH*T! Web design is about achieving whatever purpose a given site has. I've seen a number of interesting and entertaining sites who's purpose WAS about art... and some of them used Flash animation to beautiful effect.
My personal website is about keeping me entertained, and giving me a venue to vent whatever inspiration I find that I can't use professionally. If I ever learn Flash, my personal site will have a large Flash gallery.
IF (and only if) a site IS about making money, then definitely skip the cryptic navigation iconography, skip the gratuitous Flash intro, skip the large images and animation. If a site is about being straightforward and informative, skip all the flashy stuff as well (unless a well animated diagram will REALLY help make your point).
But good lord, if web design were ONLY about making money.... what a tremendously dreary place the web would be. Imagine all of the internet being nothing but a giant shopping mall!
::slinks back into corner::
Y'all have to 'scuse the temper... I'm trying to quit smoking.
Not everyone appreciates Flash
But should not you comments be directed at the designers behind the Flash and not at Flash itself?
Anyone can missuse anything!
Wow NFFC That [kennethcole.com] gets the BoneHead award for the best example I've seen yet. Must have overlooked it first time around. grindone pointed it out.
mivox is right on. Thank God we aren't all the same!
"Two Thumbs Up"
mivox - to be fair, I think Vince makes a clear distinction between sites where there is accountability [webpagesthatsuck.com] and sites where there is none.
knighty - I agree that discussing best practices is better than ranting about worse practices. I'm still hopefully that our Flash fans will reference more of the best uses of Flash to solve common Web problems.
(I would go searching for them, really, but I still have a lot of excess baggage from the time I visited all 1000+ U.S. advertising agency sites in a short period of time. It gave new meaning to CTR... crash-through rate.)
1: What's flash? ;) don't even have it installed.
>visited all 1000+ U.S. advertising agency sites in a short period of time.<
Good heavens! That could be more traumatic than taking a comprehensive, marathon tour of Geocities.
>to be fair, I think Vince makes a clear distinction between sites where there is accountability and sites where there is none.<
He does make that point in other areas of the website... I must say I was greatly disappointed by the blanket statements he made in the referenced article though. Don't get me wrong, I *love* Websites That Suck. I think it's a great site, that makes many great points, but...
In that specific article, he made NO distinction between commercial and non-commercial websites, and could have easily made the entire point 1000x's more clear by simply changing that one sentence to: "Commercial webdesign is not about art..."
>Anyone can missuse anything!<
Very true, but some things are much easier to misuse than others... And I think that 'demonstration by exclusion' can be a very valid form of discussion. If you're starting out in Flash, it would be a useful learning experience to take a tour of all the gawdawful abominations of taste that Flash has been used to create...
*giggle* I emailed the Kenneth Cole site and thanked them for not making me wait through a flash introduction when I saw their site. I even told them that when I found other sites that did make me wait, I would send the Kenneth Cole url to them to see a *good* site in action.
Ya have to praise them when they do well...don't you?
mivox - I belated realized the disconnect at WPTS. Both your rant and mini-rant are very valid. Personal should sites should be able to push the limits, any limits.
grnidone - excellent idea, one that is waayyy too easy to forget... might have to set 'commit acts of positive feedback' as a recurring task.
It always catches me off guard when someone emails me to say they like a site... definitely a good thing to 'train' designers through positive feedback, methinks.
Anyone doing work on the web is undoubtedly susceptible to flattery regarding their own work... "ooh, they LIKE that site... must do more like that one... must garner more compliments..."
If people send b!tchy emails saying how much the site stinks, the web artiste can always brush them off saying they simply don't understand his/her 'vision'...
(Of course, if people send the b!tchy emails to the designer's client and/or boss, the client may decide that the designer's 'vision' doesn't hold its ground against the weight of public opinion. Losing clients will also train a designer... just not as nicely.)
1. Generally, what are your feeling towards Flash?
Love to play with it, like to watch little snippets of creative use of it, like the game people create with it and other Macromedia products.
Hate to encounter it on a site when I'm looking for anything besides eye candy, or maybe on a personal homepage.
2. What portion of the sites you visit daily are Flash sites?
None. If I encounter loading... or it gets in the way, I leave immediately, unless I have to review the site, and then I grudgingly sit through it, or go watch a movie while it loads.
1. Generally can't be bothered.
Though have seen some amazing animated stuff that must have taken months to create....been really impressed by some sites.
>I couldn't think of a "Flash site" I've been to twice, much less regularly
You may not know it. Some of the best things being done are the most unobtrusive. They don't load with a "loading" sign just a static image incorporated into an informative and navigable layout and they do simple but effective things with type and images. anyone who says they "hate" Flash simply han't seen it used effectively.
>> You may not know it.
Agreed. Several times I've right clicked on an image and been astounded to learn that it was Flash. I just thought it was slick and wanted to check it out further.
Other times with a Flash advertising banner or tile, I can tell it must be Flash because the particular effect would take too much filesize in GIF format -- but it loads with no noticeable overhead and gets my attentiont, and a pleasurable response.
So, there is progress in the world of Flash design.
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