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Thread: realistically - fla/html in e-commerce

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    22
    Hi guys,

    not really looking for a definitive answer on this one, more interested in everybodys opinions really..

    when developing an b2c ecommerce site with high volume, low cost goods (ie like amazon), what are peoples opinions on the use of flash?

    whilst i think it can bring an extra sparkle to a somewhat dull shopping experience it also has the potential to alienate some of the browsing population (is flash prolific enough to be counted as standard browsing equipment for the home user these days?), as well as unnecessarily complicate things at times.

    personally i would (and pls don't shoot me for this one) leave flash out of sites like these *for now* as i'm not entirely sold on its total capabilities as yet. Having seen a couple of MM presentations recently I can see things coming along nicely though..


    anyway, as i said, would really like to hear peoples opinions on this one, hopefully start a conversation as opposed to some of the debates we see in the lounge.

    cheers,

    ij


    p.s. i'll try and check for replies every hour or so when i get out of these meetings....

  2. #2
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
    Join Date
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    I think that flash can be used, but not as standalone swf's... I mean, the basic navigation/layout should rely in our old friendly HTML with JS, Java and other enhancements. But flash can be used in banners, schemes of products (instead of huge pixelated jpgs we can use vectorial graps) and others...

    Regards,
    David

  3. #3
    I think that flash adds a little something to an e-commerce site that they have been lacking for a while. But at the same time I don't think the entire site should be made in flash. Let me explain...

    There are several e-commerce sites that use the same style backend scripting for their transactions and shopping carts, and lets face it while they may be excellent scripts, very efficient, the programmer who made them usually isn't an excellent designer. Hence the visual appeal tends to be lacking. With Flash though you can design wonderful front ends to interact with the scripting.

    The only thing is, when a site is done totally in flash, and it contains a lot of content...while you can have everything called from text files, etc. it still becomes somewhat of a pain. Not knocking flash here or anything, i'm all for it, IF used efficiently and the website doesn't become too confusing for the average user to navigate.

    Face it, when someone comes to an e-commerce site they want to be able to do these steps: Enter the site, find what they are looking for, purchase, and leave. Fancy lights and sounds are good but in excess they steer the consumer away from what they originally came for and can often times confuse them.

    Anyways, that's my two cents

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2000
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    Sydney, Australia
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    I think that Flash can be used, but not by itself, it will need to be used with other things like Perl or something.

    However, I have scene a really good site (sorry, can't remember the URL) that sells golf clubs, who have a Flash based e-commerce site. I think that this uses Generator though.

    Traditionally, Flash is not the way to go, but it is possible.

    Just remember, Flash can make or break an ecommerce site if used / not used correctly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    310
    Generator works very well in these types of situations.

    Not only does it make it easier to connect your data to Flash, but in most cases it allows you to publish your files as an earlier Flash version since all of the dynamic content is done on the server side (which means more people can view your site).

    jsut a few thoughts...

    mike chambers

    mesh@macromedia.com




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