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but Flash's inherent poor usability makes the usefulness of that information questionable. So the format is most definitely as important as the information itself, at least in Flash's case.what inherent poor usability? My three year old can easily navigate through nickjr's playtime with no problem. It is made to be overly usable with flash. Many online tutorials are done entirely in flash.
* the inability to bookmark within the fileyes, even I mentioned that one.
* the inability to command-F search within the fileoh well
* the forced wait while the file finally gets to the part I'm interested in
Now how can I argue with those.;)
Perhaps the designer wants you to get the whole story. Maybe they are trying to convey something beyond bland information.
in other words, the type of site that I hate to go to when I do a search, even if it is HTML.
Show me what I went there looking for first, and let *me* decide if I want to "get the whole story" or just what I was looking for.
There is a reason that engineers hate marketing and "designers", because for some unknown reason, those sorts of people seem to think that their precious presentation is more important than the message itself.
Good web design and engineering together can be had in html or Flash (or a combination of both), and all disciplines are precious whether it be websites or anything else. The plain simple fact is that Flash does offer design options that "good old html" doesn't, and vice versa. Constantly throughout this thread, the technology is being confused with its misuse. I don't think anyone is defending bad Flash sites. The argument is whether a major search engine like Google can - and then should - award parity in search ranking to deserving sites with technologies other than "good old html".
Flash is now an accepted tool for building websites or parts of websites - I've never built one yet that didn't have an element of Flash, and I've had no complaints from clients or users. The three hosting companies I use have a Flash feature predominant on their homepages, and the top-ranking site in Google for a search on "search engine optimization" has a Flash header. It's here to stay, irrespective of whether some people refuse to install the free and harmless plug-in or not.
In my case I value vector graphics and what can be done with it, plus the speed advantages it offers over raster graphic files. I also value the way Flash can enhance the navigation of a site. And Flash gives productivity advantages too. Obviously I will have to leave others to judge whether this is successful or not.
Much more interesting than "designer-bashing" is what to do about, for example, the accessibility issues raised by the use of Flash, and other aspects brought out here, like bookmarking, all of which must ultimately have a design/engineering solution. And Google can help by presenting Flash content in its SERPS - on merit, of course.
I'm a minimalist - I have found no reason to have Flash on my system and thus I don't. When I go to a website that was built in Flash or has a Flash intro, I make use of the BACK button and surf elsewhere. If a site has a couple of flash graphics decorating the page, I put up with the broken images.
I will not be installing Flash on my system, now or ever (unless of course it's bundled in with a browser and I have no choice). It kinda bugs me that Google lets third party tools like Flash sites and PDF files into the results and doesn't let me filter them out.
Interestingly enough, the "Advanced Search" portion of Google's site has this option:
Only/Don't return results of the file format:
... where is HTML? Why can't I only return results in HTML documents and ignore the rest of the garbage?
I often surf with JS turned off. And if Google could remove pages that do not work at all without JS, I would be in favor of that too.
The difference is that most pages that use JS still work with it turned off. A site that contains a flash section should still work for a user without flash installed. A flash site will not work at all if you do not have flash installed.
Oh yeah, what is even worse than sites that require JS or flash are the ones that contain java. What a resource hog that is. I have had some sites bring my system to a crawl just so they can put some bell or whistle on my page.
I haven't had any problems with wmp before, so my inclination is to think that the site is either broken for someone on dial up, or perhaps I hit a temporary server glitch. However, from how large that .avi file seems, with most of the world on dial-up *totally* unacceptable to have that on a site that is designed for live interaction. However, if we exclude the .avi brokeness here, on dial up the pure flash parts were working without any problems on my current 37.3k connection. Thus, my criticism of this site really isn't Flash specific.
The difference is that most pages that use JS still work with it turned off. A site that contains a flash section should still work for a user without flash installed. A flash site will not work at all if you do not have flash installed.An all flash site should be equipped with flash detection that redirects those without it to an html version which in turn should give you the option of downloading flash or viewing the html version. Flash detection, however is not always accurate and should fall under the category of things that need to be worked on by the design/engineer team.
Oh yeah, what is even worse than sites that require JS or flash are the ones that contain java. What a resource hog that is. I have had some sites bring my system to a crawl just so they can put some bell or whistle on my page.Agreed.
When regular text is spidered and a page loads, I can quickly find that text on the page using my browser's Search or just looking for it with my eyes. I think there is even a find option on the Toolbar.
So let's say your search results returned what you were looking for inside a Flash document - but it was a 20 minute long FLASH MOVIE with no rewind or fast forward or anything. I'll have to sit there and watch the entire thing just to find the content that was returned based on my keywords.
THIS is the reason I don't have Flash on my system - I don't WANT to watch your stupid flash movie, if you don't have the content I'm looking for in plain old fashioned text, I'm going somewhere else. One of the great things about Google was that I *knew* when I searched for something that the page was going to contain the text I was looking for. Now it's possible that text might be in a FLASH document, which means I'm going to have to weed through more crap.
Man, the Quixtar and other MLM losers are going to LOVE that. I can see it now ... they're all sitting there laughing their evil pyramid scheme laughs saying "Muahahaha, now they will have to watch our entire promotional video!"
Bad move, Google.
First I'm supposed to install special software to be able to see Flash, and since I refuse to do that, now I have to add extra characters to every search (assuming that would even work) to EXCLUDE it? I'm not into that.
Am I lazy? Maybe ... and of course I fully support Google's right to do whatever they want with their system. I'm probably also in the minority (no idea ... couldn't care really) so what I want probably won't have anything to do with their decision, and I accept that. It just sucks though :P