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View Poll Results: I think websites should be:

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  • HTML and CSS only.

    6 37.50%
  • HTML, CSS and Some Presentational Flash

    10 62.50%
  • HTML, CSS and Some Integral Page Elements in Flash (eg: navigation)

    0 0%
  • Flash only (with HTML for positioning & background etc.)

    0 0%
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist adesignrsa's Avatar
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    Exclamation The Flash Website Debate. Lets put it to bed!

    I don't know about you, but I am quite sick and tired of the whole Flash website discussion.

    You know, the websites made purely in flash. The good, the bad and the ugly.

    All of them have similar charactaristics in so far as search engine ranking abilities, bookmarking, browser back button abilities, not to mention accessibility, and the propensity for flash designers to always be "clever" and contradict every usability guideline known to man.

    How can we once and for all make it clear to people making or considering making websites that using flash as your only presentational component is a big mistake?

    Please help me lay down some solid reasoning in your own words.

    Also feel free to disagree, but I can almost guarantee I (and others) will be able to find flaw in your argument.
    Ross Allchorn
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    Twitter - @allchornr

  2. #2
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    Flash can be beautiful, and can offer a far richer experience. The main problem I have with Flash is not necessarily related to accessibility or search-engine capabilities. Although these are extremely important points, what bothers me most about the use of Flash (in many, but not all instances) is the way people often completely re-define the user experience.

    In our day and age, people want to access information quickly. Ease of access often flies out the window when one has to actually try to figure out how the site works, and how to navigate it before finding anything meaningful.

    I would love to see the stats, but I wonder how many people instantly close a window when they see the (now almost "standard") Flash loading progress bar.

  3. #3
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    Regardless of how we feel about it, flash and other emerging technologies such as FLEX and AIR will be integral in the future of the web.

    There are arguments for and against every single technology that exists... Who's to say which is the better...?

    Personally, I feel that websites should be developed using accessible and usable means; and most of the time that means plain old HTML and CSS.

    I think that flash (like javascript) should only be used to enhance the users experience of the web.

    I am not sure if the demand for highly polished flash sites is rising or falling. 90% of the "pure" flash sites I visit nowadays look like they've not been touched since 1995!
    James Padolsey
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  4. #4
    Django Jedi neron-fx's Avatar
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    I think it all comes down to the requirements of the site or application. For instance I am currently working on an application for work that needs to be updated real time, dynamically. So I'm using OOP PHP5, AJAX and JavaScript to perform the task. It does not degrade gracefully because it has no need to (its for internal use only)

    I think Flash can be a wonderful tool but anything used excessively or without need is bad. I was very pro Flash a few years ago and developed many sites in nothing else but Flash. However the niggles soon start to bother you as soon as you have to produce something that is accessible SEO friendly and usuable. My top 5 niggles with Flash are as follows

    1.) No browser back/forward/refresh/bookmark support without having to hack the hell out of it with JavaScript and Mod-Rewrite.

    2.) Not accessible.. plain and simple... Blind people?? forget it!! No screen reader support

    3.) No bookmarking available (kind of relates to point 1 of needing a Deeplinking engine)

    4.) Not all browsers have the Flash plugin

    5.) When done badly Flash sites are slow, laggy and riddled with annoying bugs

    When I have a choice in the techs used I generally use nothing but XHTML Strict 1.0, PHP, MySQL, CSS and very small amounts of JavaScript to enhance user experience. However I ALWAYS provide a non javaScript alternative for users who have it turned off... But thats just me, I am a bit of a web purist and believe that everything should be accessible to everyone!

    Cheers

  5. #5
    Avid Logophile silver trophy
    ParkinT's Avatar
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    An example of a poor user experience (with Flash).
    An example of Flash as the right technology for the application.
    Don't be yourself. Be someone a little nicer. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)


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  6. #6
    WordPress Freelancer banago's Avatar
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    I hate waiting for flesh site to load, counting the percentage of loading.
    WPlancer.Com - PHP & WordPress Developer
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot
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    so long as flash adds something to the website...i seldom see it used well and i really hate those flash intro pages that somehow have not fully died yet! however i thought the channel6.ie website used good use for tv show ads and such

  8. #8
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adesignrsa View Post
    I don't know about you, but I am quite sick and tired of the whole Flash website discussion.
    Yet you have created a thread to discuss exactly that.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist croatiankid's Avatar
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    For most sites, I think flash should be left out. Then again, for some websites, flash is really a better solution, for example Adobe Kuler.
    Hrvoje Markovic
    Croatiankid designs

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast trishacupra's Avatar
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    Personally, I wouldn't use it. But if I were to use it, it would be for decoration only, not for content or navigation.
    Trisha Cupra, Web Design Watchdog
    Protecting website owners from the most painful online mistakes

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict
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    For me, it’s not a question of full flash website or flash for presentation etc. It’s ensuring that when developers/designers use extra technologies to enhance a website that they consider, plan and develop a website that degrades without loosing any functionality. Every visitor should be able to access and interact with any area of a website, with the same outcome. Although you should be allowed to enhance the experience (if acceptable) by utilising Ajax, Flash etc.

    Si


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