Should you use Flash on your website?
Technology is admittedly cool to watch, it is not always the best solution for
your small companies website. The most important thing your business
website needs to accomplish is to communicate information quickly and easily.
Pages should load fast, and users should be able to find the exact information
they seek within a few short moments. Flash also will add substantially to
the initial cost and maintenance of your website.
Below, you will
find an article by Kestrel Designs regarding pros and cons of using Flash on
your business website.
If you feel
Flash is still the best way to represent your companies website and worth the
additional time and expense of Flash programming, I work closely with a couple
Flash programmers and together we can bring you the Flash website you desire.
Flash Technology - Advantages & Disadvantages
Although Macromedia, the creator of Flash technology, claims
that 98.3% of Internet users have the ability to view Flash, one has to
consider the methodology for the survey and how well someone can view Flash.
For one thing, the survey was restricted to English speaking participants. In
addition, although the participant would have been warned not to download the
player during the survey, their computer would have automatically prompted them
to do so. More importantly the survey does not take into consideration the
version of Flash they may have and the speed, memory, and connection of their
computer. When you consider all of the factors, a realistic estimate of the
percentage of Internet users that can view Flash as intended would
probably be closer to 65%.
Should you use Flash on YOUR web site?
- Flash uses vector graphics, which means that the
graphics can be scaled to any size without losing clarity/quality.
- Flash gives the viewer a "high-tech" impression of
your organization that is very impressive.
- Flash can be used to create interactive animation
for entertaining "Splash" pages and even games.
- With Flash you can deliver to your audience
engaging applications and web interfaces such as training courses, tutorials
- There are a variety of reasons why Flash content may
be inaccessible. First, Flash files require a plug-in called the Flash
Player. Many older browsers do not support this plug-in so individuals using
those browsers will not be able to view Flash content.
- The "Back" button does not work. If you navigate
within a Flash object, the standard backtracking method takes you out of the
multimedia object and not, as expected, to the previous state.
- Link colors don't work. Given this, you cannot
easily see where you've been and which links you've yet to visit. This lack
of orientation creates navigational confusion.
- The "Make text bigger/smaller" button does not work.
- Flash reduces accessibility for users with
disabilities. (Although the latest version "Flash MX" supposedly addresses
many of these issues.)
- The "Find in page" feature does not work. In
general, Flash integrates poorly with search.
- Internationalization and localization is
complicated. Text that moves is harder to read for users who lack fluency
in the language.
- Many viewers get annoyed when they have to wait for
the Flash presentations to load and will end up going elsewhere instead of
(source, Kestrel Designs, 2003)