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Thread: Flash is evil VS Flash is good

  1. #1
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    I gotta write a homework about the flash usability debate.
    Where can I find resources? Can you tell me your opinion? I need all I can find to incorporate into my homework!

    Thanks,
    Stephan

  2. #2
    Challenge the Conventional
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    Stephan,

    Just a few idea's to help u on your way. They come from both sides of the fence.

    First you need to examine the ethos and mantra of the Flash technology.

    Flash is intened to provide rich multimedia experiences, at a lowband-width. Which I'm sure you agree it does.

    Look at what Flash is good @, and what it is not.

    For me flash is about providing a stage for an experience. It's a veichle from which a message can be delivered. But the contant mus'nt be forgotten. Any site without content is ultimatly dry. It's very rare to see a deep site produced intirely using flash technology.

    Flash increases the interactivity of a site and design can be greatly improved. But sometimes sites in Flash can be over designed. The user experience mustn't be forgotten. If a site is to difficult to navigate and use, then the user is left with a poor experience, and is unlikely to return.

    Finaly, a little comment from me on what Flash, the software is. It's the only piece of software I know of that makes Designers want to program, and programmers want to design.

    Hope all this helps, and makes sense! I've just ranted on a bit. I'f your unclear on somthing just shout back

    good luck with the paper

    P

  3. #3
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    If you want to find enough debate, go to the advanced search, write Jakob Nielsen in the key words, select Coffee Lounge as default board, and you'll get a few threads and URLS refering to usability of Flash. Beware, though, there are lots of irated (and in some cases stupid) posts. However, I am sure you'll find some good information between the hate posts!

    Regards,
    David

    BTW: flash is so good or bad as spaghetti is good or bad: if a box of one ton of spaghetti falls over your head, does that mean that spaghetti is bad?

    As everything in this world, is the use of things which can considered good, bad or neutral, not things themselves...

    Regards,
    David

  4. #4
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    Peter,

    first of all, thanks that you pointed out how I can structure my homework. Thanks for all the hints.

    I also believe that in some cases the technology steps more into the foreground than the message does. And that should not be the case. Every good design firm puts the subject and the message into the center. Bad design firms put technology in first place.

    I think that the Flash software is cool because in a way you feel at home when you're using it. I remember when I was younger, like 13 years old, I started using CorelDRAW 4. From the feeling Flash is kinda like DRAW because you can do so much in one place. It's just a feel thing. For example, you don't feel at home when you code HTML in notepad or a program like Golive.


  5. #5
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    David,
    thanks for your hint. Thanks for the spaghetti comparison. I'm gonna put it into my paper for sure.
    Thanks,
    Stephan


  6. #6
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    stk,

    I'm an aspiring Flash Designer coming from a purly HTML background. I have a little design experience, but not graphic design like from college.

    I'm going to tell you what I've found in my learning about Flash and about the sites that are "usable" and "not usable".

    Usable:
    - the site's navigation is VERY easy to figure out.
    - Content appears quickly or with very little delay
    - The site runs at a decent frame rate even on a Pentium I 233mhz
    - I don't have feelings of wanting to leave

    Unusable:
    - The opposite of everything above.

    My goals in designing are that they flash site will even work on my wife's old AMD Compaq computer.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    There has been a lot of discussion of this topic on the Coffee Lounge. Check some of the threads that this search turned up.

  8. #8
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    WillsterV,
    thanks very much for your input. I like your comparison. And I will incorporate your opinion into my housework. I think that after it's been reviewed by my professor I'll also make it available online.

    Jelve,
    thanks for your help. Your search proved to be very effective. I found exactly what I was looking for.

    Phooka,
    I found Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox article. I think that I can use that article in my paper as one core element because it apparently fueled the discussion.

    I'm supposed to write about the debate. I'm not allowed to put in too much of my personal opinion. Anyway, I think that Jakob Nielsen flamed Flash for no obvious reason.

    Flash is a carrier for a message and not the message itself.

    Do you guys know any websites dedicated to the flash usability debate?

  9. #9
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    You can always go to http://www.dack.com and read his rants about Flash. If there aren't any current postings, he surely has some in his previous listings.

    Paul

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