A Flash usability white paper
April 9, 2001 12:04 PM   Subscribe

A Flash usability white paper that says Flash can improve the usability of a web site.
    "When executed correctly, with attention paid to the needs and wants of users, Macromedia Flash content can actually improve the user experience on any Web site."
Can Flash be saved if developers start thinking about usability? Is this going to impact Jakob Nielsen's 99% figure?
posted by Dugout (8 comments total)
after a quick skim, i notice nothing about accessibility. (you know, handicapped access) there's more to usability than mere functionality and flash, from what i understand, is horrid with accessibility.
posted by bliss322 at 12:16 PM on April 9, 2001

Exactly. Without accessibility measures built in, state and federal agencies won't touch Flash. Corporations will be next, and then eventually smaller businesses. You know, basically anyone concerned about ADA lawsuits.
posted by fleener at 12:48 PM on April 9, 2001

Not to mention education - higher education is (mostly) convinced that they will ultimately fall under the same ADA guidelines that federal agencies operate under. They're also steering well clear of Flash as a result.
posted by Tempus67 at 1:54 PM on April 9, 2001

I reviewed this paper before it was released and many of the points I brought up about accessiblity in Flash were left out, or ignored. I do know that Macromedia took a long time to approve this paper and that the gist of the paper was biased towards Macromedia, so I would not be surprised to learn that Macromedia purposely removed sections that didn't show their product in the bright gleaming light they so want.
posted by camworld at 2:33 PM on April 9, 2001

If I read the contact info correctly, this paper was published by Macromedia. Is the news that Macromedia feels that Flash will increase usability at all noteworthy? Hell, I don't think anyone here would have a problem finding papers published by software authors which tout the features of their software and make claims about how it will change your life.

In addition, this paper even reads like pure propaganda. With headers like "Macromedia Flash is a dynamic, powerful Web application product" and "Macromedia Flash content is like taking a trip", it's hard to take it that seriously.
posted by delfuego at 3:33 PM on April 9, 2001

There is a section of the paper that deals with accessibility here. Also, as the paper notes, there is an accessibility initiative from Macromedia with more info on accessibility.

I think the paper is great. Sure it reads like propaganda, but i am sure that is the Macromedia influence. The author of the paper, Chris MacGregor, has been pretty critical of Macromedia in the past.
posted by DragonBoy at 3:40 PM on April 9, 2001

"When executed correctly." Three little words that constitute an insurmountable hurdle for most.
posted by aaron at 3:41 PM on April 9, 2001

Until Flash is an open standard not controlled by Macromedia or any other single entity, it's bad for the Web. End of story. Closed standards are evil.

posted by Mars Saxman at 3:52 PM on April 9, 2001

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