Flash on The Web

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Flash on The Web Although Flash has its place on the Web, current Flash technology has usability problems for three reasons: it makes bad design easier, it breaks the Web's standard interaction style, and it consumes resources that would be better spent enhancing a site's core. Splash pages were an early example of abusive Web design. Luckily, almost all professional websites have removed this usability barrier. However, we're now seeing the rise of Flash intros that have the same effect: They delay users' ability to get what they came for. On the upside, most Flash intros feature a "skip intro" button. However, their very existence encourages design abuse in several ways. First, flash encourages abusive animation: Since we can make things move, why not make things move? Animation has its place in online communication, but making simple text move across the screen a waste of the users time. One of the Web's most powerful features is that it lets users control their own destiny. The users goes where they want, when they want. This quality is what makes the Web so usable, despite its many usability problems. Unfortunately, many Flash designers decrease user control and revert to presentation styles that resemble television rather than interactive media. Websites that force users to sit through sequences are boring, regardless of how cool they look. "Think of your web page as a vehicle that must traverse the Information Superhighway, complete with potholes, roadblocks, detours and rough gravel roads, to reach your customers. A racy sports car will be turned back more often than a utilitarian four wheel drive truck. If your message never makes it to your customer, does it matter how flashy it is? " (http://www.hypbus.com/solution/flash.htm) Designers can design usable multimedia objects that comply with the guidelines and are easy to use. The problem is simply that current Flash version makes bad design easier. The second set of issues is the Flash breaks the standard interaction style between the browsers and there users. "as flash developers, we must still face the reality that flash is not installed in all browsers. according to macromedia's whitepaper on flash penetration, flash is now a part of about 90% of the world's browsers. that may seem like a very high percentage, but population percentages tend to obscure individual people.

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