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Thread: using HTML type formats

  1. #1
    Keeper of ubiquity bm289's Avatar
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    I'm trying to get some info on what most of you think about using a type of html looking format for a flash site. What I mean is. Most flash sites out there try to imitate 2A or other non-standard looking flash based sites. My take is, give the client a flashed out and unique web experience without leaving the realm of conventions that they are used to seeing in an html based site. I think this still allows for tricked out buttons, sound loops, sound effects, and inventive transitional effects between site sections while still allowing the client/user to feel comfortable within this new format.

    Give me feedback on this. I have been thinking about this for a while and I am wondering if this would be a feasible and marketable Idea.

  2. #2
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    HTML is vastly under-rated. I often wonder why some companies use flash for their corporate websites when HTML would have been a far superior option for their choice of site.

    Sites like http://www.2advanced.com and http://www.whoswe.com use flash to its full potential, quite literally these sites could not have been done in HTML. Sometimes though, personal sites which are corporate looking and basically are there to provide information are done in flash which baffles me.

    Flash is perceived by the uneducated as cooler than HTML, more can be done with it but if you wanted to pull a caravan, would you use your porche or your more reliable 4x4?

    Look at what you want to achieve, if you want a visually impressive 'wow-factor' site that makes people visit it just because it looks fantastic, use flash.

    If you want to relay information, get good search engine placements and be accessible on all platforms / browsers and text readers, use HMTL. Flash can be used effectively on the web more more often than not its used when it doesn't need to be used.

    Just because we know flash doesn't mean we should use it as the definitive tool for web site creation.

    The bottom line - my advice is to spend a few hours in photoshop designing a visually pleasing to the eye site. Use flash for certain components if needed but why use a flathead screwdriver to screw in a philips screw?

  3. #3
    Keeper of ubiquity bm289's Avatar
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    Good points

    I agree with you and I have seen you post this opinion on several other threads. My point is this however, Many, way too many, companies are asking for a flash based site even if it will completely look like something I could have achieved in DHTML or HTML alone. Alot can be said for Cascading style sheets. But they don't want to hear it. Some of my clients have pointed out to me that while html, javascript and Java can accomplish the same feats, they would rather have a flash based site because it is a newer technology and their competitors are already using it as their face on the web.

    I have been using HTML for my site for about three years now, but I have had people call me up and say that they wanted a flash based site and because I didn't have it on my site they gave the business to some one else. Regardless of the fact that it clearly said on the services page "Flash based technology for your web presence." They simply log on to my site and when they don't see things fade in or out and move all by themselves they get turned off. As a result I am now converting to a dual site. Flash for those who like it and HTML for those that prefer it. But, I have decided to do something different with flash if I am to use it for my site. I am going to make it look like html, but the behaviors will not be html. That was my question. Since I am taking this route; will it be well recieved?

  4. #4
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    Point very well taken, however one does not need to flashsterbate either. A site like http://www.e-sense.tv/ makes nice use of an animation and a sound loop to show he can do it but doesn't go overboard. Ultimately it is up too your customers to decide, but a subtle incorporation of a few technologies IMO shows ones talent much more effectively than an in your face, 3d, flashstravaganza.

  5. #5
    Keeper of ubiquity bm289's Avatar
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    hence

    I agree, hence why I am re-designing my site. As a freelancer I need to be able to SHOW that I can keep up with the jones's from a gimmick of the month sense. So Out with the old and in with the new. I will still offer an HTML site for those few small business owners out there that still don't really like or understand the purpose of flash.

  6. #6
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    Re: hence

    Originally posted by bm289
    I agree, hence why I am re-designing my site. As a freelancer I need to be able to SHOW that I can keep up with the jones's from a gimmick of the month sense. So Out with the old and in with the new. I will still offer an HTML site for those few small business owners out there that still don't really like or understand the purpose of flash.
    I would argue that you should aim to show that you have risen _above_ simply following the gimmick of the month. if businesses can see that you understand their needs and have full control of the technology to achieve them, at an affordable price (yab yab), then they should be happy to hire you. but maybe that's what you meant

    (and on a mini-rant, I would avoid those 'flash' || 'html' version choice splash pages - they just add another click, are confusing for non-technical people and reduce the amount of control you have over how you present yourself). go for serpent star's suggestion of a slick HTML page with added Flash thrills...

    - n.

  7. #7
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    And just to throw two cents in, I do think that Flash can be abused; I originally started thinking that Flash/html combo sites were best to recommend. Then, about a year later, I was consumed by the idea that if the user downnloads the plug-in just to see an intro, isn't that a rip-off(?), so I went went all-Flash, but now another year later, the pendulum is moving back to towards the combo sites, without intros, just developing strong interfaces and content loaded into a frame or table.

    I find that this is a versatile way of incorporating Flash content, but I think that with the comparatively low penetration of the Flash 6 plug-in, it's best to develop for Flash 5, then maybe it's even safe to do away with the checkers, testers, sniffers, user notes and other user-unfriendlys.

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    there are some sites on the web that just want to catch your eye. The majority, however, (at least those that someone is really paying for) are meant to make money, sell goods, offer services...
    So maybe you should consider making a site that demonstrates selling stuff, or novel methods of customer interaction, for your potential clients ... rather than only objects moving around and sounds playing

    As for the flash vs html question: sometimes html can do things better (displaying text and images), sometimes flash ranks top (complex user interfaces). Unless you are developing for one single browser, you will find every now and then that, if you use flash at all, you want to do a complete flash site just to make it work reliably

    Of course some designers consider it "really cool" to have a site optimized for one browser and one screen size, some of their visitors may think otherwise. Now, a F5 movie that interacts with a backend only works the same on most systems and also looks the same. If only macromedia did fix those obscure POST bugs in some of their players

    Musicman

  9. #9
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    I think that redundant (one flash site, one html site) sites are the best solution, if for no other reason then because search engines aren't going to pick up flash content, and because you hit both the lowest and highest common denomenators. I use this approach partly because I gave up using cascading style sheets and DHTML to try and do nice sites with HTML. It's just too much work to try and get things looking good across all browsers. As far as I'm concerned, the browsers had a chance to make themselves a system for delivery of high-end content, and they blew it in a big way with their incompatibility. Now I just use them to make a bare-bones copy of the flash site.

    That said, when I built a redundant site, both versions have the same navigational hierarchy. I hate flash sites where the hierarchy is fuzzy (and I've built a few sites myself that fall into this problem). The lessons that most html designers have learned is the importance of the navigational hierarchy. Even in flash, you can't go wrong with a top/left-side menu system.

    bm289: I think your overall concept is good, but I'd suggest that if you're building an html-style site with flash, concentrate on the subtle design nuances like fonts (probably my favorite reason for designing in flash over html) before you start looking at sound effects and such. Even though your customer won't say "oh wow, look at that typography", they'll notice that it somehow looks better than any html page they've ever seen. Then start adding in a bit of sound and the rest of the flashy stuff.

    -#

  10. #10
    Keeper of ubiquity bm289's Avatar
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    thank you

    Thank you all for the comments, I already started working on the site. And I am focusing on fancy typography and animated menu subfunctions instead of music. Actually, you will find no music on my site at all. I have taken a vow of silence, as it were.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by octothorp
    As far as I'm concerned, the browsers had a chance to make themselves a system for delivery of high-end content, and they blew it in a big way with their incompatibility. Now I just use them to make a bare-bones copy of the flash site.
    I think that's very strange - surely now is exactly the time that this area is improving dramatically! Finally you actually do get somewhere close to across the board compatibility without too much hassle and you are leaving the party

    - n.

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