April 29, 2008

To Flash or not to Flash

Using Flash is a great way to add rich, high-impact content to your web site. But, just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should. Sometimes, clients want Flash added to their site just for the sake of having it. I had a client tell me during an initial meeting that they wanted Flash on the web site I was redesigning for them. When I asked them what they wanted the Flash element to do, they really didn't have an answer; they just wanted something flashy.

Flashiness is fine if it serves a purpose, but too often the flashiness is distracting and annoying. How many times have you visited a web site with a Flash introduction and immediately looked for the "skip intro" link? If your visitors always skip the introduction then it's not only worthless, it delays your visitors from getting to the content they came for.

Flash can, of course, be extremely useful. It can be used to create interactivity that presents the site's content in a more effective way than static text and images. Flash can be used to create more effective navigation through the site. However Flash is used, it should always be used to achieve the goals of the web site (you have set goals for your web site, haven't you?).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post. I like Flash when it's done well, but too often it's just annoying. Here's a post from Veerle's blog regarding Flash that echoes some of your sentiments: http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/does_flash_irks_me/