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Thread: Flash Usability

  1. #1
    In light of flash's new found lime light, I would like to propose a list of Flash enabled sites that would prove the nay sayers wrong. I believe in this tool and personally would love to see it used in a manner in which nobody can complain. So, I will offer the first example of what I believe to be great usage of flash in a Corporate environment!


    Your turn


  2. #2
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
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    Jun 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Do you know that that site was co-designed by one of the Senior Moderators at FK? FlashGuru works for the company that made that site.

    It's very cool, and you're right, it's a great use of Flash and it makes alot of sense.


  3. #3
    New Wave Visionray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    When I go to that site, revelare.com all I get is a hosting company. I know Ive seen that site before, are you sure its the right address?

  4. #4
    oops little dislexia going

    I will ad another site to the list

    Any other sites that can be deemed usable by no flash believers?

  5. #5

  6. #6
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Freedom for Catalonia
    Flashguru worked on that site???? Coool! Anyway, refering to the usability issue: remember that even when we wouldn't find anything anti/usab, any guru WOULD find problems, the main reason being that usab gurus (especially Jakob) need controversy in order to survive.

    What I am saying is that any flash site (and any HTML site) can be accused of usability problems always...

    Refering to Relavare, notice that even when this is a flash enabled site, the main layout is HTML, navigation is link based... even banners are non flash!!!

    This site is much more usable than http://www.useit.com because instead of classifying contents under a chronological order, they are classified under topic which makes granularity of user control more logical and friendly...

    One down from an usability point of view: when entering sections you cannot see on top of the site the hierarchical order of that particular section...

    (Must shut up now I have been reading too much Jakob!!! )

  7. #7
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Freedom for Catalonia
    Lookandfeel is a much easier site to anihilate under usability terms only... I actually love the site and all my sites break usability standards!

    1. The Pop-Up window is completely non-standard and forces the user to open an extra window he didn't ask for. Not having the traditional browser options (back button, refresh) means that novice users will fell bewildered.

    2. The preloader has:
    2.1. Non needed flashy animation which distracts the user from the site's core values.
    2.2. Music, which increases the ammount of kbs needed to access main content.

    3. Main page has non-standard navigational systems; no links (so that you lose the possibility of knowing which areas you've visited), superfluous animation down the pop-up, superfluous animations when entering each section, non-resizable fonts...

    Remember, I am playing the devil's advocate here... most flash sites are not "Jakob Nielsen compliant".

    Maybe we should start to think that a site can be usable and be completely against Jakob's postulates! Usability guru? Nope: conservatism guru.

  8. #8
    Usability is in the eye of the beholder. For someone that is going to make a living off of flash, those comments by jakob nielsen, only warrant conformism within the web community. I am banking on the fact that flash allows a TV like atmosphere, with the interactivity of a magazine. For him to hide behind HIS definition of usability is about as futile as hiding behind the curtain of standard tv programing procedures, which we all know can and do become stale until someone comes along and gives us fresh new content. My point here is that there is an abundance of great flash sites out there which seem to be geared as eye candy for the masses but do not provide the value of say amazon.com or even a web portal. These things are capable of being done in flash, albeit be done even more efficiently with better ease of navigation.

    Let the front end be flash and the backend html, xml, sql, whatever. Am i making sense?


  9. #9

    www.derbauer.de - love it

    what if we make a list of HTML based site that are sucks? -
    I'm sure the list would be longer!

  10. #10

    Talking Usability - there´s nothing to it.

    Best-selling author Jakob Nielsen may write a lot of books on this subject but there´s really nothing big to it. Support your users and meet our users expectations(period).

    "Cool" graphics may be used as long as it doesn´t distract the users from what you want to communicate. An attractive site with experiences of aestehtic pleasure could help you satisy your user. That is usaibility as well.

    Personally, I think Nielsen is to focused on the tool when he says that Flash is 99 percent bad. Sure, Flash has some drawbacks, as any other program. But blame the designer - not the tool. What would happen to the world if we accused a pencil for bad readability. Instead we would turn to the person who wrote the text and tell him to write clearer.

    All carpenters are not architects, the web have good and bad communicators. If Flash is the fasade of the building - some structure should lie beneath.

    /Andreas (A thought from Sweden)

  11. #11
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Freedom for Catalonia
    The main sin of mr Jakob is that he uses the same parameters to analyze everything. He uses a few laws that are appliable to mega-sites packed of content (amazon.com, yahoo.com) and makes them universal. Is like having a superstore in a huge city or a small butcher's in a small town; things that work in the superstore won't work in the small shop and viceversa.

    Furthermore, although Jakob has written wonderful articles refering to usability they are only appliable to old, plain HTML. Of course, when using the same parameters to analyze usability in flash, everything goes wrong because the same parameters do NOT mix.

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