A Cancer on the Web called Flash
June 1, 2000 11:30 AM   Subscribe

A Cancer on the Web called Flash - The publisher of Flazoom.com has published a lengthy opinion/rant about evil Flash designers. I love how this guy publishes a Flash site about cool Flash sites, then publishes an editorial about why Flash is bad for the web. His commentary is dead on though, something that all Flash designers should think about.
posted by DragonBoy (5 comments total)
Very interesting points all around. I know I like Kioken's work for its "gee-whiz" appeal, to be certain, but I'm starting to develop a strong dislike for sites that open full-screen windows. It seems to be happening more and more, and I am tolerating it less and less.

Similarly, I skip most Flash intros, particularly those on commercial sites. Flash does have a time and a place, but I think its current usage trend should go the way of the dodo.

posted by hijinx at 2:39 PM on June 1, 2000

Definitely right on the money. It wasn't that he was against Flash, but rather the (ab)use of it. I love flash. I think it's the greatest thing to hit the web since...since...hell nothing's better than Flash! Even WebTV supports Flash 3.... but sites with humongous, dramatic, *pointless* intros make no damn sense at all. Some designers have to learn to use their heads rather than show off their chops.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 2:50 PM on June 1, 2000

I like response from "Captain Cursor":

"I think it's fine to do this. I don't see what all the fuss is about. No one really uses it except on design sites. It's like getting all in a tizzy about windows popping up after you close or leave a page. Yes it's a big annoyance and a threat to navigation. But if you don't like it, don't go to porn sites :-)

The sites that do that are visual design studios. They're not interface designers, they're not writing content that is meant to be experienced by people on lynx, or the blind, or really anyone but their clients, and other designers. This of these sites as the designer equivalent of implementing Towers of Hanoi in vi, or in Lego Mindstorms code. Sure it's useless and pointless. But so what? The small minority of like minded individuals thinks it cool, and really there isn't much on that site you were going to ACTUALLY read there right?

Now I could just be saying that since I work at a design studio, but I really don't think it's a problem. I actually think it's quite useful. Sometimes you want to bring the user out of their computer. Like when playing a game or something. You want an experience that isn't distracted by Excell spreadsheets or anything. Take this art project my partner Anna and I did a few years ago for RGB.

Is it appropriate for all sites? Of course not! But it's not worth a call to arms, and it's also not Flash's fault."

posted by cmacleod at 3:26 PM on June 1, 2000

People who use Flash extensively are only wanting to cater to people who have faster connections and all the required software. Those who do not have all this can complain. They may even call it discrimination. However, if that's the 'demographic' which the website wants to cater to, it's their choice. I used to skip Flash intros but now that I'm on a fast enough connection and have all the required bells and whistles, I sometimes actually look at it just to see.

If nothing more than so I have something to laugh and complain about later. Smart designers will use Flash sparingly, in order to improve the functionality of their site and not just to show off. We went through this whole procedure with basic Web design too. Second generation websites with all the glitter and no content came and went. There are still a few out there but they're not as prominent as they once were and they're slowly dying out. I imagine this trend with Flash will too.

It's a new toy for some, even today. People are still experimenting and learning about it. Growing pains. We'll grow out of it and will do the same thing to the next big innovative little toy.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:29 PM on June 1, 2000

I work at an art museum. We know that we have many levels of audience, from "art lovers" to researchers and scholars. What's wonderful about working here is that there is so much content to play with and we are looking at using Flash in a very directed way.

I, too, hate using technology just for its own sake. Do any of you have any recommendations of flash sites/pieces which are appropriate, content-laden, and well done?
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:02 AM on June 2, 2000

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