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The Proper Use of Flash

Flash, flash, flash... How effective is your site design? Should you convert your whole site to Flash or just add a it as an option? Does it matter? Not much more than a few months ago, you could visit a site and be given a choice of whether or not you wanted to view the site as straight HTML or Flash... we see a growing trend on the internet that is an even better idea. A growing number of sites are no longer offering two versions, but are embedding a small Flash file straight into their HTML sites and we think this is a great idea. You don't miss out on the whole page and navigation if you choose not to download the plugin and if you want to see the dynamic animation of Flash, you can! It's great for the webmaster/designer who doesn't have to create two complete versions of a site, and it's even better for the user.

The more choices you give your visitor, the more they will like it and let's not forget who you're trying to please with your design... your visitor! Rule #1 - Don't aggravate your visitors! Most people aren't impressed by the capabilities of Flash and get peeved by too much of it (which causes long loading times) if it keeps them from easily navigating and finding what they're looking for. If you don't have a good design and great content to begin with, no amount of Flash will make it any better.

If I have to sit through another Flash movie that won't let me exit or turn that darn music off again, I'm going to scream... I usually make a swift departure and probably won't come back, neither will your visitors if you abuse it. Don't get me wrong, I love Flash, it's one of my favorite programs to play with. I think it's great if it's not abused or over used and I do incorporate it into many sites whenever I can. It will never replace HTML as the standard in web page design because of it's weight, but if it's used right and conservatively, it can and does make most sites more interactive, attractive and impressive. I also think the best use of Flash is for multi-media demos and distributable marketing and advertisement software. It's come a long way in the last few years to interact with server scripts and databases to increase it's speed. There are a lot of sites where Flash is just not appropriate.

So, go Flash it up, but analyze your site stats, study examples of great sites and always listen to feedback because what really matters is what your site visitors think about it.


Post a Comment About This Article


Previous posts:

lowell -- Friday, January 28 2005, 10:57 am -- thank you for this article! i am a web developer and was just explaining this very fact to my client that wanted all of the flash bells and whistles. i wish more people would practice \"strategic\" flash usuage, which is what i promote. flash is awesome, but overused, it\'s just plain gaudy!

omprakash narayanan -- Wednesday, May 18 2005, 03:22 am -- Thanks. This article clarify my doubts on flash. I read this article. It is clearly mention the use of flash pages.I got some ideas between the HTML pages and Flash pages.

Rob Thode -- Wednesday, August 24 2005, 03:34 pm -- As a teacher I have used your article with my students - they like to go overboard. Getting an outside objective view helps re-enforce the design balance I am trying to teach. Thanks heaps for the article.

lloyd -- Wednesday, August 16 2006, 07:27 am -- Just read this artical and would like you to know, IM off home to complete revamp my website.

lloyd -- Wednesday, August 16 2006, 07:29 am -- Iv been reading this website all day and believe the above site needs a complete overview, Cheers manys thanx and continue the good advice


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