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Before we begin, let’s start with the Flash apologists. Whenever I say “Flash sucks” somebody points out that it doesn’t, but that some Flash developers truly suck and don’t know how to use it properly.

It is a fair point, however agencies / developers that build websites for their clients must understand the limitations of Flash, and build primarily for the needs of their client’s visitors, and business needs, rather than for their own egos.

But what happens when these agencies build Flash websites for themselves? Badness happens, that’s what. At least in my opinion. I’m sure I’ll hear otherwise, but from my perspective I can rarely see the point of using Flash as the basis for a website. And while I'm all for rich media, and immersive user experiences, I think agencies should know better...

By my reckoning Flash should be limited to widgets and modules – where it can be remarkably effective - rather than used as the platform on which the website stands. Unfortunately some designers and developers didn’t get the memo. Far too many websites still rely on Flash in order to work. It is madness. I mean, I like cake, but cakes aren’t the answer to all of my dietary needs.

To sum up, here are 10 reasons why Flash tends to suck:

  1. You need a plug in. No plug in, no access.
  2. Loading screens… 16%... 27%... 39%... aaargh.
  3. Constant browser crashes. Arguably a browser problem, but still…
  4. World of weird interfaces. Did the designer drop an acid before going to work? Like crazy, man.
  5. Splash pages. And you’re making me wait because…?
  6. Gives web standards the bird. Then kicks the ‘back’ button in the ass.
  7. More animations than the Disney Channel.
  8. Mobile devices and Flash do not send one another Christmas cards.
  9. Accessibility, what accessibility?
  10. Search engines hate Flash. No really, they still do.

Now let’s take a look at some of these agencies that have, in their wisdom, deemed Flash to be the perfect platform for their websites. You can judge for yourself…

McKinney

“Hello. It’s time for a new conversation. Come in, let’s talk.”

New? This is about as new as New Kids On The Block. McKinney is an award-winning agency with a truly appalling Flash website. Whirl, spin, repeat.

BBH

“When the world zigs, zag”

I love the strapline but just like McKinney, BBH has a godawful Flash website that may wow big budget clients, but does nothing for me. At least the back button works.

Leo Burnett

“Big ideas come out of big black pencils”

Yeah, and so do dodgy websites. 

Ogilvy

“Smart strategies for dealing with the downturn”

Huh, what’s that you say? If that is Ogilvy’s strapline (and I’m not convinced it is, but it’s the first thing I read on the Ogilvy website), then why isn’t it ranking at the top of Google for an exact match on that phrase? Is preventing Google from properly accessing your website a smart strategy? I reckon this post will rank higher than the Ogilvy site this time tomorrow.

AgencyNet

“If the internet were a machine, what would it sound like?”

Hmmm. Maybe a fax machine, or some other highly annoying noise. I know AgencyNet will be proud of this website, and in all honesty it is marginally less offensive than some of the other one’s I’ve been looking at. But is Flash really necessary? Again, the SEO police come into play. Take a random exact phrase from one of it’s news stories / press releases. Do you see the website on the first page of Google? No, me neither. Why hide your light under a bushel?

Freedom + Partners

Turn the sound up for this bad boy. F+P chose Flash - “the best storytelling platform” - because it positions the firm “in the best way possible”. Or to put it another way: “Why would you hang a hand written sign in your window when you could have neon lights illuminating your wares?”. Reader, I’ll let you decide, if you can be bothered to wait for the goddamned thing to load, tolerate the sports rock that plays automatically, and figure out the 3D navigation (which can be flipped into 2D mode. Amazing.).

THIRD STREET

This is a great example of a website that doesn’t require Flash to work in the way it works. In this context, Flash is totally redundant, pointless, and it is puzzling me as to why it has been used. And a marketing agency should surely be able to figure out how to rank on the first page of Google for its own brand name. Not a great sign.

McCann-Erickson

When searching for these websites in Google I can always tell a Flash site by reading the description alongside the search listing. In McCann-Erickson’s case the company is perfectly described as follows: “You need to upgrade your Flash Player. ©McCann Worldgroup 2009 | Supplier Directory.” Gotcha.

GDS&M

A full service ad agency with a website that really doesn’t need to be built in Flash. Idea City, or shitty idea?

Tribal DDB

The splash page contains lots of self-loving, with a bunch of links are to the various awards the agency has won (links to PDF files, no less). The only other link says: ‘Enter site.’ Click it and a pop-up window appears. Nothing much happens. Oh hold on… is this going to kill my browser? Is it… YES! Result! NO, actually NO! It simply froze up for about a minute. Proceed with caution! 

What do you think? Is this flash, or is it simply flashturbation?

Twitter user? If you liked this article please retweet it here.

Chris Lake

Published 5 August, 2009 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

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DaveC

Ha ha, great post.

Flash websites are terrible, my automatic reaction is close the window anytime I click a link and a loading screen appears.

The tragedy is the amount of work that goes into them though, a complete waste of time.

Why would anybody want menus that jump up and roll around when you mouse over? Why?

about 7 years ago

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Zainal

I still think flash is good to be used in combination of XHTML, Rich Media/expandable banners and some Microsites.

Now i agree with the list above but its still worth using.

better be carefull when you say "flash sucks" its a broad statement Mr.Chris, but thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)

#fail

about 7 years ago

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Neil Whitehead

Flash....admit it , you're just showing off really.

about 7 years ago

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Andrew

There is obviously room for a lot of search engine optimisation for nearly all of these. However the fact remains that nearly all of these are global agencies, with big reputations for their work across the whole spectrum of media. If would be clients have the budget to engage them, then they won't be making their first impressions based purely on the agency website.

about 7 years ago

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Pavol Magic

Oh my, McKinney gives me a headache.

However, I REALLY liked the text in the search button: "Ask us about us". Really client-oriented. LOL.

about 7 years ago

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Raven Matt

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

>> Skip Intro

!!! Leave Site !!!

about 7 years ago

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Matt Farrar

Chris, Chris, Chris....tut, tut, tut.  Get your facts straight fella.  I love a good Flash attack, when the attacker, is obviously so far removed from the tech, that he might as well be talking about floppy disks, and how easy it is to break one.  At least four from your list of ten are 100% incorrect.  For instance 'Then kicks the ‘back’ button in the ass.'  Ever heard of deep linking in a flash movie?  No?. Thought not.

I agree that we should mix up flash with other front-end tech to create a rich (yet usable experience), so no arguments with that.  I just think that your article was plucked right out of the Public Sector, WHF (We Hate Flash) discussion group from 2001.

The web is all about a mix of content.  If you don’t like Flash web sites, then don’t use them; simple. Just like you would probably chose a night playing Civ 4, over a beer in the pub? You have a choice!

I bet you are all still using the spring loaded Nokia, from the Matrix, aren’t you? pleeeeeaaaaseee, post a pic for us, with comments about how the spring mechanism breaks, because the two little metal strips eventually become worn down!  Yawn.

Finally; I can’t believe that Raven Matt mentioned 'Skip Intro' so funny.  Living in the nineties comment or what…

You will be slagging off  Analogue TV next!

Matt

about 7 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Matt LOL... good to hear some dissent but just because I don't code Flash for living doesn't mean my points are invalid. I know that Flash and the 'back' button aren't mutually exclusive: I flagged that up on the second site (BBH, and I promptly clicked it). But many Flash sites don't enable the back button and besides, as explained, I'm not judging these sites based on one criteria (the back button).

I know you can deep link into Flash video, but that has nothing to do with my core assertion, namely that websites built on Flash have all kinds of other flaws. What use is a deep link if the usability of these sites leaves a lot to be desired? After all they are websites, not movies.

It's not especially Luddite to be anti-Flash as a platform for website development. As I mentioned, Flash is great for certain applications but most Flash websites leave a lot to be desired.

Maybe these agencies are so well-known and respected that they don't need to worry about Google rankings, or user experience, but for most of their clients (firms that recruit these agencies to *market* their businesses, in some shape or form) this kind of thing matters a great deal.

about 7 years ago

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Ginger

I've done my fair share of Flash-bashing, and since then I've grown up a bit and realized the real problem: Flash, being pretty as it is, has a purpose; that purpose is not utilitarian.

A balanced approach -- where the user could see pretty stuff AND do what they need to do -- would be MUCH better. So, the sites above that show pretty graphics that take up nearly the whole screen with no apparent value to the user (lookin at you McKinney) are pretty worthless. And don't get me started on waiting for sites to load - anything that wastes precious time is bad, bad, bad.

Personally, my Flash pet peeve is your #8 - mobile accessibility sucks. Of course, no one really cares about this for an agency, but dear Lord, can we stop making Flash sites for restaurants, bars and anywhere else I may decide to visit on a whim?

about 7 years ago

David Hamill

David Hamill, Usability Specialist at Freelance

@Matt Farrar, your knowledge of that Nokia phone probably says a little more about you than it does about Chris.

I can't say I'm particularly impressed by this article though. Part of me feels it's a bit of a lazy stab at Flash sites because there was nothing else to write about.

But another part of me thinks that if people are still building websites like the ones shown, then someone needs to keep talking about it.

I think it's the excaggerated aggressive tone that makes it sound a bit too geeky for me.

about 7 years ago

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jerome

i don't know - I am not a tech buff or anything and I am not a fan of the intros and loading time but I don't see the big deal + it seems to me that you are criticizing the company taglines rather than the websites themselves. 

Just out of curiosity, what would be an agency website that would get your approval? 

about 7 years ago

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Andrew L

Chris, a very enjoyable read! How ever i didn't bother looking at any of the sites because of the 10 mentioned reasons not to! 

Slightly off topic: Ive just made a site and i was wondering if you would be prepared to critique it for me?

about 7 years ago

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john

I completely agree with all of this, but the clients still love teh Flash, all those print-trained creative directors who unwittingly sacrifice page rank for a nice font.

about 7 years ago

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ryno

according to the w3c (and me I guess) the web should be standardised, and each technology does definitely have its place , but what about creativity , beauty and innovation , flash sites offer unique experiences that set web sites apart and gives us a glimpse into the future where all media (tv, web, animation)  will combine into one format. This guy most likely works for Microsoft where everything is grey and crap.

about 7 years ago

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Chris S

A couple of people have mentioned that this article isn't written from a tech-savvy perspective. Whilst this is true, it's also a good thing – showing that it's not just us geeks fighting against Flash for technical reasons, it's real people who use websites who are turned off by mindless self indulgence.

Whilst a couple of the points aren't inevitably true of every flash movie which gets called a website, they are prevalent on most Flash sites, because the choice of technology makes it easier to fall into into these tarpits than not. If you understand the web, and you understand websites and you're able to make informed business decisions about your site, then hopefully you'd use a technology platform (http/html/css/javascript) which makes it easier to do the right thing than the wrong, so developer hours aren't wasted on beating things into shape which you'd otherwise get for free.

This post will inevitably draw some inane comments along the lines of "YEA BUT WTF ABOUT DESIGN MAN?"... Each and every one of these commenters needs to step immediately away from the client work which they're taking money for and learn about how to create beautiful works of art in CSS and Javascript, before they return to their keyboards.

about 7 years ago

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Ali ali

Chris, I agree with you entirely that web-sites shouldn't have loaders, splash-screens and obtrusive animation. I think your quarrel is with the designers and developers of Flash websites, not the technology though. 

Most of your points are ill-informed, out of date or just plain wrong; deep-linking, back-button navigation and SEO are now all easy to integrate into Flash projects. If a bunch of agencies have decided to preload 1mb of graphic content before you can view their homepage, I don't think that's a problem with Flash as a web technology.

I think you have had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction here against badly designed, self-indulgent web-sites. Coupled with an attitude and out-of-date knowledge of your subject, you don't come across too well.

If the Daily Mail had a web tech review column this article would be in it.

Alistair

about 7 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Alistair - yep, my quarrel is with the developers / execution. While back buttons can be enabled and sites can be optimised for search, how often does this *actually* happen? Not often enough. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I'm saying that it often isn't. Many of the sites I have mentioned are the proof of that. 

Don't forget that these agencies are in the business of advertising and marketing. And yes, I'm pointing a finger at the agencies / strategy / execution, rather than the technology, but I stand by my key point that Flash isn't the best tech on which to build a company website. 95% of the top 50 agencies use Flash. It's all a bit me-too, and I don't see the point. Flash has its place - I don't dispute that.

@ryno - certainly a lot of these sites offer unique experiences, but unique isn't always a good thing. I think the user experience and site optimisation is more important than reinventing the wheel, in terms of navigation or whatever. Usable and aesthetically pleasing aren't mutually exclusive. And to suggest that you need to build in Flash to do creative / innovative / beautiful things seems to be well wide of the mark.

about 7 years ago

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Aloysius Carl

Just like a lot of things, Flash has its place.  It is just not in site navigation and website foundation.  Its great for adding motion, snazzy appeal and for glitzing a site up.  No matter what Adobe or Google say about the ability to read Flash, it is still not where it needs to be on equal footing with other methods, and most who work with it do not understand what needs to be done to assist with this. So there are functionality issues as well as practice issues around all of this.  And as far as deep linking in a flash movie goes, if/when this link becomes as effective as others, i'll rely upon it.  Until then I'll use it as icing on the cake as how it should be looked at for now.  

Moral of the story, Flash is a great tool, just not something to be used completely for a website.

about 7 years ago

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Ben

The use of "Hella" is about as dated as these opinions on flash. Not to be rude or anything, but the "Editor in Chief" is writing "This sucks" articles? This isn't content, this is a gripe. Take it to twitter. "@flash I hate you" would've summed this whole article up.

about 7 years ago

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Craig Elimeliah

Been doing this a hell of a long time and I have yet to ever lay my eyes on a half a million dollar budget for an HTML site. There is no money to be made and clients dont want them. They want engagement, its like saying WHY DO MOVIES HAVE SPECIAL EFFECTS WHY NOT JUST HAVE HUMAN ACTORS? Because that is what fills the theaters and bloats the box office. You dont have to like Flash or even appreciate how much goes into making it but at teh end of the day its what the clients want and what we deliver, so why the hell would we create an HTML site for an agency that touts Flash as its sweet spot.

At the end of the day when the digital director at an agency or brand says WOW THAT IS AMAZING! after looking at our agency site because they understand what they are seeing and not because they are trying to look at it through HTML goggles, thats when it all pays off.

I admit its a nerdy, code junky, design snobish platform however its a niche that generates tons of money and creativity. When done right there is nothing better on the web.

Stop bashing flash if you dont like it then dont use it and those who do will enjoy the show.

about 7 years ago

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Peter Cutler, Principal/Creative Director at Cutler Communications

Great stuff.

I came from an agency background and when I left and launched my web design business I started doing Flash sites. It was cool and much easier to work with from a design perspective. Also more like television, which was my former specialty.

But I realized the real value to my clients wasn't in Flash. It wasn't even in CSS. It was in the simple words and thoughts and how I put them together to get their prospects to buy. Same old; same old.

Most regular folks (old enough to own a credit card) come to the web for information. Flash often gets in the way of this information and distracts from the message that turns these regular folk into paying customers.

It's quite sad for me to see these top agencies going with a technology that most savvy marketers know is relic in terms of its effectiveness. It's always been true: If you can't come up with a good idea, substitute technology. Your client will never know the difference. But it's just as true that your client's potential clients will know the difference very well indeed.

it's still a hard sell to get clients to focus on (and pay for) words and good ideas. But when they do and they see the huge results, it's a piece of cake.

As more and more clients begin to experience this ROI, I'm afraid the days may be numbered for the Flashers and techno-geeks. It's still a very cool technology. No doubt about it. But where's the ROI for the client? What are the results in solid dollars? They're just not there.

It's all content now. The marketers and copywriters have taken over. You'd think the agencies would realize this.

The web is finally moving from technology to ideas. How long do we have to wait for agencies to pick up on this? I hope a long time. It's great for my business.

Peter

Peter Cutler
Principal/Creative Director
Studio 525
http://www.studio525.com

We don't just create websites.
We create websites.

about 7 years ago

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Eric

I agreee, you know what else I hate? images. They take too long to download too. I think images at most should be under 15k each, better yet, the web should be mostly text. video too, i dont understand the point of watching a video online. and dont get me started about fonts and colors.

about 7 years ago

Rob Mclaughlin

Rob Mclaughlin, VP, Digital Analytics at Barclays

Flash sites deliver rubbish web analytics - a designer/developer who has no interest in what their users are doing/thinking/want may design a Flash site.

Flash sites are not showing off. They are for kids who don't understand the need to understand the user experience or old duffers who think that pointless movement and colour will make up for their inepitude.

about 7 years ago

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Peter Cutler, Principal/Creative Director at Cutler Communications

Eric,

I appreciate the irony. But Flash is not the same as images, fonts, etc.

Far too many commercial sites have repeating Flash animations in their headers. Every designer knows that motion attracts the eye. So having repeated motion in a header will constantly pull the viewers eye back to the header and away from the content below the header. And the content below the header is what does the selling. Not a bunch of moving images. So by distracting from your sales message or whatever message you have, you dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your website.

Test it out sometime on a commercial site. One site with an animated header, the other identical, but static. The static site will convert a higher percentage every time.

I don't do these types of tests anymore because it's pretty pointless to offer a Flash header to a client who needs his site to get customers and clients. Yes, I can make more money doing it, but I offer my clients real, solid business results. If I was offering them nothing but pretty pictures and entertainment, I'd go back to making TV spots. The money's much better.

At some point the web has to grow up. This recession is a good time for it. And it's happening. Technology that only offers "Flash" without the substance and without a real Return On Investment will not last on a mature business platform. And that's what the web is becoming.

Eventually clients will smarten up. The technology has become easy. Now it's time to get to work. If you can't show real solid dollar results, you're history. And isn't that the way it should be?

Peter

about 7 years ago

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Peter Cutler, Principal/Creative Director at Cutler Communications

From the perspective of designers, art directors, programmers, and 12 year old boys, Flash is very cool indeed. And as a designer myself, I love seeing cool Flash sites.

So, if you're selling to me, go for it.

But the vast majority of people who buy stuff on the web or research businesses on the web are not like us. If the site is high on the first page of Google organic, they will click on it. And good commercial sites with this ranking make a ton of money. When they enter the site what they are looking for is information. They're not looking for entertainment. They are not looking for a television commercial. They are looking for information. That's why they are searching. If an animated Flash header distracts them from directly finding this information as quickly as possible, they will click away and go to the next link that gives them what they want.

Most potential customers are looking for information, not entertainment. They don't want to be sold. They want to buy. Flash looks like television, like entertainment. It doesn't look like the quickest way to get the information they want.

This is the reality of doing business on the web. People who understand this make a great deal of money. It's true you make a great deal more money creating a Flash site for a client. But you are doing them a terrible disservice. And eventually they will discover this. Especially if they run into a savvy marketer who understands how to sell on the web.

Video on the web has been working well. Especially when it's placed below the fold after the initial information has been recieved and digested. Especially video testimonials. But Flash banners are distracting. They may feed the ego of the client and the designer, but they create negative conversions and eventually will kill the client's business.

I come from an agency background. I wrote, produced and directed every expensive television commercials. It was great fun. And the stuff that really works on the web is not great fun at all from a creative perspective. I've gotten used to it. For me the fun is in the results now. I could never say that with a TV spot. I won a ton of awards. But as far as actually increasing the clients sales. There is no way to know if they had any real impact. It was all about selling the client a good story and stroking egos. It seems like Flash is a lot like that.

The problem with this on the web is that it's so easy to test everything. You can see directly what the results are from the change of a single word on your landing page. How long can smoke and mirrors last in an environment with such good testing tools?

At the end of the day, companies need to make money or they go out of business. If you can help them do that, your future looks bright no matter what new technology tool comes down the pike.

I just don't see Flash helping much in that regard.

Peter

Peter

about 7 years ago

Alan Charlesworth

Alan Charlesworth, lecturer / researcher at University of Sunderland

As a non-techie marketer I say try pulling up a list of the top ten most visited websites in the world and see how many run on Flash or Flash-esque platforms.

Flash intro before the one-click process to buy a book on Amazon anyone? Or what about watching a 'downloading clock' run down before you conduct a search on Google?

The bottom line is that any website should be designed for the customer - that is, the person who will ultimately pay the wages of those responsible for it. If they prefer to buy things from a white web page with black text then that is what the website should be.

A footnote to this is: yes, I know the 'clever techie stuff' on Amazon, Google et al is behind the scenes,  but I don't care about how or what it is so long as I can buy a book in one click and conduct a search easily - in much the same way as my Toyota has all kinds of clever engineering to keep me safe, but it has to start when I press the button or I wouldn't have bought it.

about 7 years ago

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Scott

WOW... never been on this blog before, and I'll never come back.  This is stupid.  Web designers that swear against flash might as well find a new career. Things are only going to get MORE interactive.  Most of these sites are great. You complain that they aren't user friendly, but I disagree.  First of all, they are designed to entice creative people. They aren't trying to attract everyone. Instead, they have a targeted demographic.  If you have a hard time navigating, guess what? YOU'RE NOT VERY CREATIVE! AND THEY DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!

I'm convinced that most of you flash-haters are just jealous and feel threatened by something you don't understand. 

On top of this, it's 2009.  The internet isn't new. You need to give users more credit.  Flash sites have become quite common and most people really don't have a problem with them.  High speed internet keeps load times down to a few seconds.

Get over yourself. If you want things to be boring and user friendly, go work layout on a NEWSPAPER and leave web design to people that aren't afraid of a little creativity. 

about 7 years ago

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Scott

Oh and by the way... the "sports rock" that plays on the Freedom Partners site is Pearl Jam.

If you were actually a cool creative person you'd know that.

I'd trade usability for a cultural icon anyday. Let me know when you're site is cool enough to sample a 13-times platinum album.

about 7 years ago

Rob Mclaughlin

Rob Mclaughlin, VP, Digital Analytics at Barclays

@Scott - Sorry but being a 'cool creative person', as you put it, is not an end in itself.

Design is a joke without functionality.

about 7 years ago

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Matt Farrar

@Rob McLaughlin:  Flash sites deliver rubbish web analytics - a designer/developer who has no interest in what their users are doing/thinking/want may design a Flash site.

Flash sites are not showing off. They are for kids who don't understand the need to understand the user experience or old duffers who think that pointless movement and colour will make up for their inepitude.

01010101010101010101011100000111100000010101000011010101010001111001000100100.

There you go Rob, that was for you!

Been in this space for 15 years and you design for the end user, so if the end user wants a rich experience to sell them a £90k car, then give it to them. (In Flash).  If they want to pay thier council tax, then screw Flash, its not fit for purpose.  Thank the lord for people paying tax on line, or you would be out of work.

001111000101001001001001000111111111...yeh?

Matt

about 7 years ago

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Alastair Digby

From a fairly non-techy perspective I find that agency's flash sites do look amazing and the creativity behind them inspiring, however the level of functionally and usability suffers dramatically!! On some occasions working out how to simply navigate can be difficult and involve a certain amount of luck until something starts to move or flash denoting a link. Others don't seem to have the kind of content that would prompt me to get in touch and talk to them about a project. Another factor is the considerable load time and patience required before you even get to see the content! From an SEO standpoint I constantly hear that shaving off load time will dramatically increase your rankings and clicks yet the opposite applies here, let alone being able to find the agencies site in the first place. It would appear to me that agencies still rely very heavily on their reputation and word of mouth to attract clients as SEO is out the window to a certain degree. Will the tide ever turn and people’s patience finally run out with agency sites?

about 7 years ago

Rob Mclaughlin

Rob Mclaughlin, VP, Digital Analytics at Barclays

@Matt - I agree with you. I believe in Flash apps for the right requirement but believe Flash sites are totally without justification.

What's with the 010110's? :)

about 7 years ago

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website design

Well that's true...all Flash developers doesn't have proper expertise in the software.I use Flash so i will be biased towards it.

about 7 years ago

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Horses for Courses

Quite simply those flash sites are visually impressive. Chris points to the fact that they are non-indexable and bla bla bla bla. However, every site has a target audience and one or more ways in which it drives traffic there.

These are creative agencies who need to demonstrate  - creativity!

Why choose flash?

From an agency point of view flash allows for endless possibilities, interactive experiences, beyond the html css environment. It means a creative agency can be truly distinguished from any other. Engaging and memorable.

But what about the rankings?

These large established creative agencies know what they are, therefore they don't need to necessarily drive traffic to their site through rankings. Remember some of these agencies employ hundreds, they network, network, network and drive traffic in other ways.

Picture the scene.

 A designer from the agency is at the latest art gallery opening or some other thing, advertising awards. He/she and colleagues are doing the bit, networking "we are the most creative agency you'll see". Thepotential client then goes to work the next day sees a standardised site in comparison to one of these... wasted networking. That potential client is looking for something different, engaging, creative. Because thats what the agency is meant to be all about.

Lets draw a line under the pro-flash argument there though.

That is probably the one of the rare instances you can get away with building a website completely in flash. 

For any other line of business where CREATIVITY IS NOT YOUR USP it is totally unnecessary to use flash in this way, sure use flash sparingly within a html css framework if you wish - thats great, can produce fabulous results.

There are too many negatives for building a flash website for say a financial planning business in gloucestershire, issues such as time(cost) accessibility, seo and more a true hinderence. It wouldn't suit their needs.

In conclusion..

Flash has its place in www and is a great tool, when used correctly. Got to say though Chris you're way off the mark with this - panning these agencies sites and their creativity. Generally speaking I think the article is crap, rushed and very ill thought out... written purely to provocate, and I'm responding so hats off to you on that one.

For someone banging on about accessibility and the end user experience I would have thought you'd understand that these agencies are targeting a particular audience... whats the point in being found on google by some idiot when you want to be working off recommendation, image and networking with BIG clients. The world goes beyond google mate.

PS I dont work for an agency LOL!

almost 7 years ago

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Andrew

Advertising is about SELLING THE SIZZLE, NOT the steak. 9/10 times the product being sold doesn't have a USP, or just sucks in general. Same goes in advertising, there is almost no difference between them. Big ad agencies don't rely on hits from Google to maintain their business, they rely on word of mouth, current relationships, the perception they are the most creative and deliver the most results etc. If you're going to choose an ad agency over which one has the most useable site, then you're most likely going to pick the one that's going to deliver the least in terms of creativity. Don't get me wrong, I agree that Flash isn't suited to every project and I understand its pit falls, but an agency site is like the feathers on a peacock, the more extravagant the better. And yes, it is masturbation but what the fuck is wrong with making yourself feel good?

almost 7 years ago

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Ray Ray

Static websites are dying.  Get with the times. 

over 6 years ago

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Robert

Quite simple really.  If you're building a site for Ozzy Osbourne, then Flash Rocks.  If it's corporate or promotional in nature.  Avoid flash!  The occasional element of flash is fine, but if the site doesn't work when flash isn't installed, it's pure flashturbation!  I love that word ;)

over 6 years ago

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wacom accessories

ya flash sucks unless you are a photographer who does not want your site to rank but a lame slide show of all your crappy pictures

about 6 years ago

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