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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    It looks nice and attract attention, however, after a while it gets boring. I used to visit some site on regular bases then they added some intro at first it was nice then I got fed up waiting 20 sec before entering the site.
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  2. #2
    Misfit
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    I definitely think its worth it if you take the time to learn Flash. It can add an excellent dimension to your site. But I also recommend anyone using Flash to have a link people can click on the skip to intro...

  3. #3
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    I don't really know anything about the way Flash works, but it always seems to me to take an inordinately long time to get to the Skip Intro part on most Flash sites. First you just get that "Loading, loading, loading" thing. I tend to avoid sites with a Flash intro if I possibly can.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot funpage's Avatar
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    In the case how you mentioned it, I'd say flah just "looks nice" but doesn't really add anything to the site. I don't like sites that use flash just for an entry page that looks nice.

    If you use flash and intergrate it as part of the site, then I'd say it's worthwhile.

  5. #5
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    My mantra in website development is "educate, don't decorate." If your flash animation only provides "eye candy" I'd question its value. However, you can also use Flash to provide excellent navigation tools that would be infintely harder to implement with Java or native HTML.
    Peter Anderegg
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard big_al's Avatar
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    HI,

    Well flash is always good to "WOW" your audiance, but it can also make them leave.

    So ALWAYS offer them an alternative and a Skip Intro option.

    .NET Code Monkey

  7. #7
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Flash has it's advantages and disadvantages... and it's time to use it and the times to stay away from it. What kind of site are you planning to use it on? If it's a content site (or business) where people come for the content and information, DO NOT use flash - make it easy for the users to get the information they want, and then they will likely come back. If your site is not a content site, then you can give it a try...

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member
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    I think that many of the messges posted in this thread are using "Flash" to mean "a moving image." Needless moving images can be created with GIFs, JPEGs or in DHTML without using Flash. On the other hand Flash can be used to create useful animated tools for a website.

    Instead of saying "don't use Flash" try "don't use needless animations."
    Peter Anderegg
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru
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    Well, you're right, but there is a difference between Flash intros and other embellishments and GIF or even DHTML animations. They do add load time to a page, but nothing like Flash animation and they usually don't prevent you from moving through the site. The wait for the skip intro to come up is often quite long if you're not on a broadband connection. I like Flash when it's used for things that you can't do with HTML..from the user's point of view, not the designer's. But when it's something that can be accomplished either way, regular HTML seems more stable to me, and of course, doesn't require the plug-in. And nothing is more aggravating that getting to a site and finding that you can't see what's there until you upgrade your plug-in.

    One thing I thought was kind of funny...I was showing my sister a music web site. She's pretty Internet illiterate. I told her we had to wait a minute or so for the site to load because of a Flash animation which made it slow to load. She said, "Well, then they shouldn't really call it Flash, should they?" Good point, is what I thought.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast Andysan's Avatar
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    well to me flash adds the next notch to web creation, it's another tool to get information across in an interesting way, for people who older machines or a slow modem, an alternative html site is the best way go, when the new bandwidth open up loading loading, should be less of a problem, but then again us designers will probably include more video and streaming media, ect. but on the hole i think flash livens up the web.

    Andysan (oopps!! did i say im a flash user)
    Andysan :-)
    "do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a wise dragon"

  11. #11
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    I have always been wary of FLash for a number of reasons, some of which have already been mentioned:

    1. Bandwidth (we of the UK are still on 56k modems or less!)
    2. Support from older browsers
    3. Necessity for plugins
    4. Accessibility (very important)

    I have been slightly swayed though by this very interesting recent news item:

    > Macromedia also announced plans for a Macromedia Flash Accessibility
    > Developer Kit and future enhancements to the Macromedia Flash Player,
    > expected by the end of the year. The Macromedia Flash Accessibility
    > Developer Kit will contain guidelines, Smart Clips, and sample code to
    > support development efforts. An upcoming version of the Macromedia Flash
    > Player will be modified to allow access to underlying data within a
    > Macromedia Flash (SWF) file, permitting the text within to be
    > interpreted
    > by assistive devices. Further, developers can choose to expose their
    > Macromedia Flash content, making properties such as scale and visibility
    > controllable by end users.
    >
    > As part of its accessibility initiative, Macromedia will deliver
    > extensions
    > that assist developers with accessible design. Two new commands for
    > Fireworks confirm that ALT Tags (which describe the information
    > contained
    > in images) are being used, and that complex sliced image maps are
    > properly
    > tagged for readers with disabilities and reading software.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict
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    A worthwhile link for all concerned with Flash and the SWF standard...

    http://openswf.org/

    Note the list of Third-Party SWF Tools.






  13. #13
    Gong!
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    Recommended reading for everyone interested of Flash and it's usability by Jakob Nielsen, master of web usability.

    Read it and learn:
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html

  14. #14
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    I do find myself in agreement with a number of points mentioned in the article cited above.

    On a working site (as opposed to those specifically designed for "show"), too often the use of Flash is nothing short of gratuitous: the designer does it for no other reason than... he or she can.

    The 'Net isn't TV. People aren't quite so captive to the whims of the presenter, and tend to want to get where they're going, without wasting time waiting for downloads and gaping at content-less displays of the designer's (presumed) skill.

    The result is -- and I do this constantly -- very often when a visitor is stuck in front of a Flash intro, they either click on "skip intro" -- or just move on to another site.






  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru
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    Originally posted by etLux

    The 'Net isn't TV. People aren't quite so captive to the whims of the presenter, and tend to want to get where they're going, without wasting time waiting for downloads and gaping at content-less displays of the designer's (presumed) skill.

    That is the biggest point that a lot of designers, and sometimes site owners don't get. It's not TV. People are not there to be blown away by your design. They are also not there to watch your commercial. My own company has a totally gratuitous Flash intro at the moment, hyping our current marketing campaign. The company is in love with the campaign and the designer is in love with Flash and no one has stopped to think that this doesn't enhance a visitor's experience one bit.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict Macromedia's Avatar
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    I like flash. It is an amazing tool! But, I must agree, if your visitors are trying to get to the content they don't want to sit around and wait for a Flash file to load. If you have a content site and will use flash make it a small file. But, if it's not a content site Flash ads pizzazz and can be very impressive.

    -Nick

  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru
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    But what site isn't a content site? I mean..what value does any site have if it's not content of some kind? I have to admit I've been struggling the last few days with trying to come up with an index page that really calls for pizazz and it's tempting to give in and get it done with Flash. Many other sites in its genre make prodigious use of Flash, but then I think that I want and need repeat visitors to check back often. I don't know. I'm really trying to understand this trend. I've been looking at more and more pages that qualify as cool and hip and impressive lately to try to figure out why so many are going that way..and I still find that I don't much care for the experience of waiting for them to load and trying to navigate them. And that's someone who spends most of her life on the web. What must it be like for someone who really isn't all that familiar with it?

  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict Macromedia's Avatar
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    This is an interesting discussion!

    Yes, the internet is not TV, but it is, often, a form of entertainment, isn't it? Especially with the new high-bandwith connections becoming more popular and cheaper. I often "oooh" and "ahhh" at a site that uses Flash in a creative way. And I think Flash sites can "move" you emotionally when they are done in the right way with the right music. I think it is amazing how many more advanced websites are using Flash not for intros, but for interaction and the whole site is actually designed using Flash. I own Flash, but have not taken the time to learn it, but there seem to be so many things that can be done with it.


    My two cents...
    -Nick

  19. #19
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Originally posted by etLux
    the designer does it for no other reason than... he or she can.
    Or as the case may be, he or she can't.I know plenty of graphic designer who are ALWAYS using flash for the simple reason that they cannot do anything else, ie HTML, ASP,PHP etc. Maybe we should not be looking at why Flash is being implmented, rather at why other things are not!

  20. #20
    SitePoint Guru
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    I've seen a couple of uses of Flash that were wonderful. Did the job better than could be done in other ways and even were quick to load. That's fairly rare, though, and I still wonder what had to be done to make those pages accessible to non-Flash users.

    I do think that the days of Flash intros and such are numbered, although it'll get worse before it gets better. Tools are beginning to appear that allow just about anyone to customize one and use it. They range from free to inexpensive, and it follows that there will be more of them and that they'll become more and more sophisticated. So, I figure there'll be Flash on every personal home page for a while and that'll really take the bloom off the rose for designers. After a while, hopefully, Flash will mostly be used where it really performs a useful function.

  21. #21
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    Flash is a phase we went through for a while. Now though I never use it.

    The sites I build are an information resource, having a movie that takes ages to load is just one more step before you hit the user with the information they're after.

    It can be good for some sites though, particularly those who need a touch of Whizz Bang Flash (as my mum calls it) to grab people's attention.

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  22. #22
    Idea Developer
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    I think that flash is really boring, unless you use it to make your whole site, but providing info in flash is hard. A good flashsite does that, but thats really hard, i really think that flash isnt worth it.
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  23. #23
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    I do hope my prior comments in this thread are not misinterpreted as being uniformly disparaging of Flash and related .swf-based technologies.

    My point is, rather, that Flash like any display technology should be used appropriately and with purpose, rather than merely for the sake of effect.



  24. #24
    Idea Developer
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    I agree, most people use frames badly, like frames, especially in intro pages.
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  25. #25
    Carpe Chicken Chicken's Avatar
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    Hmmm, let me think of another way to urinate-off your visitors (I'm trying to keep this clean) than having them wait until a pointless intro loads? How long are you gonna wait at a site like that?

    I don't like my time wasted by something that *you* think is really neat. It isn't neat. We've seen it before. You better come up with something better than "loading... loading... loading..." also. I've seen that "loading... loading..." site many times. I didn't find it interesting the first time, and I surely don't find it any MORE interesting NOW. Then, what are we (the few who actually waited) rewarded with once the loading is done? Yipppeeee, the text moves. Things fade in and out. Then your site's name appears! Ohhhhhh my goodness!

    What the $^&%*^ were you thinking???

    We aren't stupid, we typed in the URL for heaven's sake! We know the name of your site! We might even find out what it is your site offers and ORDER something -if we didn't get so bored and fustrated that we closed the window.

    Is flash evil? Nope. Should it *never* be used again for anything? I don't think so. Just use some common sense.
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