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flash reviewed

and here's some actual excerpts from a non-macromedia report :

... people in your audience are likely to have the Flash plug-in installed. The problem is that they could be using various versions of the plug-in, which makes it challenging for creating Flash-based Web sites.

Then there is speed. Yes, Flash is supposed to keep file sizes small, but just adding sound and video quickly bulks the Flash file. To overcome this, designers create preloaders indicating in various ways that "the page is currently loading, please wait." This is torture for those on 56K and slower connections

Sites using Flash either use it as an element or as the entire site itself. Elements include navigation, demonstration, entertainment, advertisement or other small areas of the site. When a site uses 100% Flash, the entire site does everything with Flash. Unless the site is a personal Web site, art, games, or just for fun, it's unlikely to have justification for treating Flash as a platform rather than as a tool.

Those succeeding with Flash usually apply it as an element and mix it with other technologies or images such as streaming audio and video, GIF, JPG, DHTML, and CGI to name a few. Determine what elements you need on your site and study the strengths and weaknesses of each technology to determine which option would work best for each element. You're in good shape if you can use Flash without sacrificing accessibility, readability, navigability, usability, searchability, and ability to update.

Persons with visual impairments using readers and search tools think there is nothing on a typical 100% Flash enabled page. Few search engines have the ability to scan a Flash site. Those who have hearing challenges may enjoy the animation, but not understand what is going on because they can't understand the audio portion.

Users have a habit of pressing the BACK button to return to the previous screen regardless if there is a RETURN link on the page. Flash has a little problem with the back button. In most cases, it sends you to the previous Web site instead of the beginning of the Flash movie or another Flash element within the site.

Just because you know how to use Flash doesn't mean you should use it or break the usability rules. Unless you're creating to demonstrate your skills for your portfolio, design for a purpose with substance not to show off your coolness and "with it-ness."


Anti-Flash Crusader

Quote by drshakagee: Here is a report online that I can link to.

Oh, come on - that's advertising.

Is there a real report you can link to?

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Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 231
I am not defending the (mis)use of Flash at all. The NPD Group seems like a pretty reputable company to me. I doubt they would risk their 30+ year reputation in doing market research to make Macromedia look good. If they did a study on my company and the results came out in my favor I would use the study in my marketing as well (even if Macromedia did pay for the study it is still a good study by a very reputable market research company).

My work just bought me the Macromedia Studio 8, but I haven't really had time to do much but play with alpha channeled video (really fricken sweet!). Some of the new other new features look promising to me. I personally don't usually recommend using Flash for web-sites (I don't use it on my site) but for making stand alone web-enabled applications and cd-roms there is nothing better at the present.
Yes I am mental.

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Registered: 09/29/02
Posts: 820
The above "flash reviewed" posted by the anonymous is outdated, and has nothing to do with how many people have flash installed. Flash has evolved a great deal. With the Action Script 2.0 flash is a faster and much more sophisticated program now. It can be made run faster by developing in modules. I can be developed into a CMS using xml. It can integrate well with PHP as well.

So far I have never heard from anyone who have learned to use flash say anything negative about it. The problem is that you have to enjoy learning both technology and art. If you are not gifted with art (as I am not), you might hate it (and I did before). I wish there is a community like this to build a program like Geeklog collaborately using Action Script 2.0.

I also have no reason to defend Flash. I stumbled on to it in search of beauty. Technology, like a well written php script, is great, but when it puts on a skin of artistic beauty, it is superb. Most of us appreciate a powerful computer system, but we like it better when it comes in a beautiful case (like Mac)! That's what Flash does, but I have discovered that Flash now is more than a beautiful skin; it has a lot of substance in it.

Just my two cents.

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