I’m sure there will be some revolutionary ideas generated in these current economic conditions from both individuals and organizations. I can’t wait to see what we get to build next…
While Flash may at times be a very effective tool in web design (when used correctly), many times it’s abused and fails to add value to the website it’s used in. Flash could even detract from the website’s usability. Here are a few reasons why:
- Flash distracts from site’s core values, such as the actual content
Flash content tends to be created once and then left alone. Frequently updating content is key to generating traffic. Also, human awareness is usually dominated by anything that moves, so Flash could distract users from the most important part of your site, the content! Human-computer interaction expert, Dr. Jakob Nielsen, points this out in his Guidelines for Multimedia on the Web . “Never include a permanently moving animation on a web page since it will make it very hard for your users to concentrate on reading the text. “
- Flash reduces accessibility for users with disabilities.
For one thing, users can’ t zoom in on text appearing in flash videos. This can be annoying for your older visitors or those with vision problems. Also, screen readers aren’t able to decipher flash embedded on a page. Plus, a site that depends heavily on Flash forces users to install the Flash Player in their browser if they haven’t already done so.
- Flash encourages design abuse
Just because we can make things move doesn’t mean we should. Flash usually encourages this “gratuitous animation”, which as mentioned in the first point, can easily distract users. Some Flash designers also tend to decrease user interactivity (which is what Flash is good for in the first place!) by “reverting to presentation styles that resemble television” (Nielsen). This is a big no-no in web design usability.
- Flash is not search engine friendly.
This isn’t necessarily a usability issue, but its still a huge drawback to using Flash. SEO is usually a vital part to the success of a website.
Flash development isn’t completely evil and has its place in web development. Discretion is necessary to carefully balance the pros and cons of Flash to create the best experience for your users.