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Readers Respond: Do You Use Flash - Why or Why Not?

Responses: 13


From the article: Don't Use Flash This Way
Find out what makes Flash so alluring to Web designers and why others avoid it like the plague.

Flash needs to be used correctly

Some people say flash takes too long to load. I would say that as long as you use it for simple sites that would look too bare and empty in HTML, then it is fine. Once it has loaded, flicking through pages is incredibly quick. Some people say that flash is a security risk, but there are many safety features to stop flash doing any serious damage. Flash cannot write to any file other than XML files, and can only read from XML too. If you use flash for simple designs that won't take more than a couple of seconds to load, and you add a preloaded, then you are fine. You could reduce your file size - and therefore loading time - by externally loading images, and you can if necessary load some of the content while the animation is playing or the viewer is still viewing the home page. Flash needs to be used correctly to profit from a situation, so the designer needs to know when and how to use it to make it work.
—Guest Sam

I like Flash

I agree that Flash should be used well, and is better as a component rather than the site itself. But my site is all Flash right now b/c I am still learning Dreamweaver and hate coding. Eventually, I'll get there. But Flash displays my graphics well, and since my site is all about graphics and is a portfolio site/slide show, rather than a site that I am trying to rank high in search engines and sell products from, Flash is my best bet. Mine has been optimized to load fairly quickly. Long term, I want it to become a part of a more HTML-based site rather than the site itself, though.
—Guest ipaintbrush

Flash isn't evil.

Flash would have to improve dramatically to be merely "evil." Want mobile-device users to be able to interact with your site? Don't use Flash. Want search engines and tools like the Wayback Machine to be useful with your site? Don't use Flash. Want to be accessible to users using alternate browsers without playing serious mind games with your site? Don't use Flash. And the list goes on.... but the answer is always the same. Don't use Flash . Fortunately, for most if not all of the things people used Flash for in years past, modern HTML, CSS and JavaScript frameworks provide more-than-adequate substitutes. I can't count the number of sites that had a large Flash animation just to cycle through a series of images; CSS sprites and JavaScript frameworks like jQuery and MooTools offer Flash-free ways to do that more efficiently. The list goes on. In 3-5 years, use of Flash in professional Websites will carry the same cachet that the old HTML 'BLINK' tag does today.

I hate all things Flash

I love the browser addon called "Flashblock" it is the most awesome piece of software I have ever used. No more flash unless I explicitly allow it. The internet is mine again. Flashblock FTW!!!
—Guest KingMonkey

Flash is wrong with Flash

I know I'm outdated, but I am still using Win 98 — mostly because it works well, still gives me DOS for old programs ans is still the best and most stable version of Windows. But when I get a "wouldn't I like to download Flash to view a web page, it keeps coming up, but Flash says it doesn't work with my OS. Now, if I use Opera, it has the latest version which does still work with Win 98, even 95. and it has an add-on that does Flash perfectly well. So, I would appreciate Flash getting its act together! Either don't keep plugging up my downloads with the time to download your offer, which I can't use because of Flash, not because of me. Or make Flash work. If the Norwegians can do it, I know we can do it. Or just don't keep asking multiple times. It is all very annoying, and nobody wants to be annoyed especially when they can't make it different.

Use Flash Wisely

For some things, Flash is wonderful. Electronic Press Kits, Presentations, Interactive Demos, etc are examples of using Flash wisely. I use it "componently" within my sites. Homepage content rotations, image slideshows and the like are very worthy of Flash. I don't mind Flash navigation but I don't prefer it in my builds. I concentrate on SEO-friendly pages simply because traffic and the amount of it signals that I am doing a good job to my employer. Don't knock Flash, it's wonderful through and through, so long as it is used right.
—Guest Insane

I like Flash

You can do a lot of cool things in Flash. The problem is not with Flash, it is in the way people use it. I've seen plenty of horrible sites that don't use Flash. They take forever to load. You can't find anything. You can't get back to the previous page. It all depends on the way its designed. I've seen some really cool Flash sites and I've seen some really horrible ones. So don't blame Flash. It's all in the design, no matter what type of tools you use.
—Guest Evon

It has its place

Like the cymbal in an orchestra. If overused it dominates, irritates and runs people off. I like to use Flash to display pictures or to add a "brochure" to my site. Besides, doesn't it cut down on the strength of SEO? Any site totally built on Flash, I leave. Too cumbersome because I can't think like the designer nor do I know what I DON'T know to find the one thing that would keep me there. Flash-designed sites show the designer hasn't done their research about what gets their site visited. Like the cymbal, it's for emphasis ... not solo!

Flash preference by location

I think that it would be worth while to note that sometimes Flash preference is relative to location. For example, if you were to go to the Fuji News Network (Japan) you will see a list of 28 other FNN stations. Of those 28, 25 of them have some form of Flash, usually in small area that you would immediately focus on, but sometimes the entire site. I did find that all 25 stations loaded quickly, which is pretty good considering Japan is all the other side of the world. Flash is a great tool, but must be used properly otherwise, it can be an annoying deterrent.

Depends on how U use it

Flash is a powerful tool. U can build lots of things using flash, many times better and faster than using Ajax. Anyway, U have a lot more options when it comes to design. Sometimes it can be the "salt and pepper" of your design, and I don't mean ads. While I saw some great flash sites, I'm not a fan of those sites. I'm just saying that used wisely, it can help a lot.

I only use flash as an intro

For instance, if you have a website that caters to both windows and mac with a lot of video in each side of the website, it is good to give the visitor the opportunity to choose either windows or mac - here is the example: http://www.caughtontape.biz Another time you should use flash is if you wish to introduce a band or a doctor and here are the 2 cases the band: http://www.ntranzemusic.com the doctor: http://www.docRdoom.com It is my advice to use flash only as a tool to intice people to go further into the site. By the way with the proper hosting, download time is minimal. thank you Wits End Productions www.videopostcards.info

Use with care

Many web designers put page navigation in the flash and nowhere else. More and more corporations are turning off flash on employee computers. Besides being a potential security risk, there are many flash based video games on the internet. Employers don't want their employees playing games when they should be working. Ask yourself, will flash mean more sales made than the sales lost to people who buy things while at work?
—Guest kupua7

Ugh, I hate Flash

I used to be more tolerant of the stupd program that is Flash, but these days I just hate it. If a site tries to load it I leave. I'm thinking of getting a flash killer for my browser so that I do'nt have to even see the darn pages. Flash really sux!!!!!
—Guest Maos

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