People Used To Hate Flash
Well, some still do. But in the past few years, Flash has moved from annoying to rather useful. Today, people consider the lack of Flash on the iPhone a weakness, when just a few years ago, people would have seen this a benefit as it would mean no banner ads on their iPhone.
Recall that back in the day (which in Internet time means 2003) people wrote funny, flame war posts like “I hate Flash” or noted surveys that said “consumers hate Flash.” There’s this gem from Jakob Nielsen in 2001 saying that Flash is 99% bad.
Flash was considered an animation tool, and hence responsible for some of the dumbest websites around, where zooming, moving graphics took the place of actual content. The ubiquitous “loading” sequence was enough to piss off many users (myself included) and we immediately hit the back button. Flash also found a home in banner ads which were pretty much sneered at by everyone. Annoying Flash led to some funny satirical websites.
Today, much to Adobe’s credit, the “I hate Flash” attitude has decreased significantly. It has come a long way in terms of utility and web designers have figured out appropriate uses for it. It has also nearly shed its timeline roots and its scripting language ActionScript has moved towards an actual programming language through Adobe Flex and AIR.
Flash video (.flv) is huge.
Flash games are all over the place.
Flash viral animations are really popular. I think this started with All Your Base and moved up to the JibJab stuff.
In some instances, a whole site done in Flash can be pretty cool. I see this most commonly for entertainment-related websites and design firms, where the users are more likely to be looking for an immersive experience.
- Simpsons Movie (cool make your own Simpsons avatar)
- James Bond DVD Website
- Raku Gaki
- Dominey Design
- Homestar Runner
- Old, but still cool
More commonly, I see hybrid sites with a mix of HTML and a few carefully designed Flash elements for the interactive “wow” factor.
Granted, I still see some instances of less than ideal Flash use. The site Smalltown bugs me with too much Flash for their entire UI, obscuring the content. But overall, I think Flash has definitely come a long way from the days where anything Flash = Trash.
Wikipedia: Flash History