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03-09-2001, 12:56 AM
I recently read an article writing about how the way designers use Flash is not done right for the web. Basically, the article was saying how using a Flash-based site or navigation is in many ways opposes the general direction of web standards. Some examples they brought were, inability to index Flash content for search engines, non-standard navigational tools (like unusual scrollbars), long intros (that prevent the user from seeing the site's content immediately) and difficulty updating a Flash site.

This article bothered me, because I couldn't just dismiss it. Much of it made sense. I didn't agree with everything, though. But, I've experienced certain frustrations using entirely Flash based sites. I do some design in Flash so just be aware that I'm not writing 'from the other side of the fence'.

On the other hand, there is good Flash usage. I think the best use of Flash is within a website as elements embedded within a mostly HTML environment. The examples I can't think of offhand, but that's when Flash actually adds. One site is http://www.quark.com (at least the older version had some Flash) another is http://www.pebblebeach.com . The way these two sites use Flash show the potential of using Flash to add 'polish'.

How do we as designers approach this issue? Are designers out there aware that the medium called the 'web' is very different from TV and related mediums? I think people need to think about that.


03-09-2001, 01:22 AM
That article was by Jakob Nielsen, right?
Could you post the link to it? (It's customary on Flashkit to provide links to what you are commenting on, so we can further read it and debate it.)

If it was (which I think it is, I've read it) I'd suggest you stear clear of it.

Jakob Nielsen is a man with great ideas, and good things to say on certain things.

However, he'll only be satisfied when the web is in black and white, no graphics, only text, and nothing but html.

When I read stuff like that, I almost get angry. I'm sick of people who want to stay in the past, and I'm sick of poeple who are afraid that a majority may conform to new uses of technology. It's even more frustrating that so many people buy into it. Educating yourself on both sides of the coin is the ONLY thing that allows anyone to form unbiased opinions.

This is not directed at you. It's more or less directed at these people who are terrified of things changing, and that mentality goes much deeper than the Internet.

While I don't agree that we can just jump right up and all adapt at the same time, I do think that it's important to, becuase those that don't will get left behind. That's the way it is with many more aspects of the world than web design.

Whoever thinks that Flash is adverse to the "general direction of web standards" is among a minority of people who probably wake up every day fearful that they're going to see color, graphics, animation, 3D, etc. on the Internet.

These people can have whatever opinions they want. But as far as I'm concerned, they're not going far with their "against the grain" motives and silly propaganda.
The web is still so new, it's almost a contradiction to say there are standards.

I'm not writing any more because I just might tear my computer apart out of the frustration things like this bring to me.


03-09-2001, 01:39 AM
Typical mg post :) I totally agree with much of what you said. Jakob does have many great ideas, but he likes flash about as much as george jetson likes mr. spacely. I believe that this article states that flash is 99% bad? well i can say that maybe less than 1% of the people at fk would agree - simply because if they dont like flash then they wont be here! and again i agree that Jakobprobably uses a text browser. his loss because he will never see the wonders of 2advanced or o2art or any of those great sites :)

My simple opinion is that he is wrong. The net without flash would be like Fred Flinstone without Barney Rubble.

03-09-2001, 03:52 AM
flash is a tool like any other artistic medium, sure to be abused by some and brought to glory by others. there are valid arguments made against 100% flash sites, many of which i wholeheartedly agree with. it is very easy to get carried away with the many capabilities of flash(been there, done that). however, there are many design advantages to using flash. many of my friends could care less about web design and the like. they are the rising generation of computer users who have grown up around computers and know them like they know a toaster or a microwave. it's a way of life. they are intelligent, and are fully capable of figuring out a slightly unorthodox nav system, for example. they are excited to see new things on the web. the less 'standardized' the web is, the better. my point is, people aren't dumb. they're being born smarter each day. in another few years, jakob will have to tear up his 'web standards' and get new ones. simple as that. i doubt flash will be the dominant force in web design, but it'll be significant.

03-09-2001, 05:50 AM
Just a few ideas...

1) Can we speak about "traditional" or "standard" navigation refering to stg that is so new?

2) By using Flash embeded in a Pop-Up window we eliminate any kind of problems between the Browser buttons and the swf navigation.

3) HTML and Flash work much better (IMHO) when they are not together. Most HTML-Flash sites tend to underuse Flash (only for banners or swishy text effects...)

4) Every tool in this world can be underused or overused. It's left to us, designers, to decide what to do with it... :)


03-13-2001, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by digitalmineral
How do we as designers approach this issue? Are designers out there aware that the medium called the 'web' is very different from TV and related mediums? I think people need to think about that.


There is no answers..only these two words "target audience". Whenever designing a site those two words should be said more than 50,000 times.
I don't fully agree that TV and the web are really that much different. It's all entertainment, information and ads/commercials--


03-13-2001, 06:52 AM
well then.. what a varied and most interesting topic... after having listened to sveral different points of view on this subject, i felt it was time to place my opinion into the melting pot that is flash kits board room message board.

the first point i'd like to make is that the web is changing everyday, not only in size but also in the way in which designers such as ourselves use new technologies and concepts. Flash, director, dhtml, whatever, are simply tools which are fuelling this change.

To say that flash is changing the web is a true statement, but surely it comes down to the way in which we as people percieve it changing the web. Some people, like mr Neilson, and my boss!! see this as a bad thing, whereas i personally see it as a good thing.

Yes, flash has got some bad press of late, but surely it is up to us as designers to change this.

Personally i can see where teh critics are coming from, in regards to issues such as flash intros and large download times. but thats the point. These people will critise whatever happens. it is up to us, to change the way in which things are done, to attempt to silence the critics.