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FLASH Style Web Design is Back!

You Tell Me. You Be the Judge

     
5:54 pm on Dec 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I was reviewing the top 50 designs over at SearchEngineJournal [searchenginejournal.com] and thought, hmm... I've seen a number of those design elements in many of the latest WP templates for sale. And they've been bothering me but I couldn't figure out why.

Then it hit me. These latest WP themes look exactly like the full screen Flash designs graphic designers one awards for in the early 2000's. Many of today's WP theme designers were in the fifth grade when those Flash designs were in vogue.

For comparison I couldn't find anything earlier from Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual [commarts.com] than 2007. However those of you who were adults in the early 2000's, surely you remember the flash sites.

So check it out and tell me if I'm seeing things. 50 Awesome and Inspiring Responsive Website Designs from 2014 [searchenginejournal.com]
6:34 pm on Dec 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Full screen flash sites were always ( if well done ) highly inviting and popular with visitors..Especially those with really eye catching and often interactive home pages ( even if the inside pages were a touch more subdued and or prosaic ) ..But as getting visitors to explore further was rarely the aim of adsense publishers ( who would prefer they click on a high paying ad and in doing so leave the site ), nor were flash sites the choice of the catalog sites..

Good well done flash was also very hard to find as many flash design just went for "flashy " ( yes, unavoidable pun, sorry ;) over tasteful..Good flash programming took / takes very high levels of creativity, and graphical skill..But it was horrible abused by those who had none of those things..

And , of course , Flash was and is a huge security nightmare* to anyone running windows on the machine viewing it..( not too secure on other OSs either ) and when mobile really took off with iphones, the fact that Steve Jobs wouldn't countenance flash more or less sealed it's fate..

But, the average ( non webmaster visitor, and even some us webmasters ;) still love the look and feel and interactivity of well done flash designs..the alternatives ( especially for animation and animated pages and menus and interactivity ) since flash fell into widespread disuse just do not have the tools available cheaply to allow any designers beginning, or experimenting to see what they can do, and what can be done..

But people still like the "look"..

Kind of like how some fashion items and clothing are "classic", or "timeless", or "repeated" and "recycled", and how the older ones amongst us can see them coming around, and around, and around, whilst the younger generation thinks that they are new..

Example ( without commenting upon the aesthetics ) ..Flared jeans must have come into fashion at least 4 times since the 70's..the 60's furniture and textiles that our parents had are now "fashionable" to to 20 to 30 age group..

Ps..my Firefox 28 on linux automatically blocked what it describes as "the outdated plugin Adobe Flash" on the above searchenginejournal page ( ironic ) ..so I may have missed some of the content..but I did get the screenshots..
8:04 pm on Dec 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Especially those with really eye catching and often interactive home pages...


What are some of your favorite sites that you enjoy that are created in this manner?
5:32 am on Jan 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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without opening a can of worms with a bunch of links, I liked the entertainment style sites, pulp fiction, gamers, etc. Those worked great with flash as we all like to see pics, video, sound... Grand fun!
5:36 am on Jan 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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... on the other side I have seen a few info sites that tried to use flash and made a foobar immense in being less readable than the usual lot of bird droppings on a windshield,.
5:39 am on Jan 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Psst... WebmasterWorld. This discussion is not about Flash. ;)
2:57 am on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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But it is... flash STYLE is still about what FLASH was about. But I do agree that style and Flash are two different things. That said, what I said about flash (or the style) is my opinion. And I suspect that flash style will go the way of FLASH.
12:18 pm on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps it's coming full circle and people want that style. I have noticed requests for uniformity from people in their web designs. It seems they want to look like a competitor, and not an individual. Perhaps the wp template designs are very much the design of the moment for some.
12:48 pm on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Good luck with the top heavy algorithm. It's a poor user experience to make a site visitor scroll down for the content. It'll probably get a pass because of collateral damage and it's not advertising however... why hassle a site visitor you want to convert by making the work to get to your content/product? It's like opening a brick and mortar and filling the entire floor with visuals about the product and hiding the actual product way at the back of the store.
3:10 pm on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Personally, when I go to a site where the first thing I see is Flash, I say bye bye. IMHO - The more Flash, the less worthy content.

Marshall
3:49 pm on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Psst... WebmasterWorld. This discussion is not about Flash.
8:32 pm on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I didn't mind the look .. it was all of the hub-bub music and crash sounds and other loud and otherwise intrusive things I didn't like about Flash ... (it was all replaced by the on-load videos/adsense commercials of today)

What was interesting about all of those big gawdy and heavy full page Flash sites back in the day was, everybody had/wanted them, but there were very few who could optimize them - WebDev's would throw them together and sell them quick without so much as even writing a title tag - Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos, would just blow on by without even so much as a passing glance at these things because they only looked cool -

If they brought it all back today, I, and maybe a few of you others that remember those glory days of Flash, would make a killing writing the back end optimization for them.

All in all, Flash did indeed have it's day - some are still around though -- and if I may so bold, I'll share one of my favorites here - [foxcrow.com...]
3:00 pm on Jan 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Flash-style sites may become easier to implement with html5. Perhaps it's the designer flexing their design muscles again. We all like a bit of new tech, so we're probably to blame.