I took a couple of swipes at Flash sites in my Interesting Week post – and got a small amount of push back from Pernell Goodyear. (He’s forgiving me for my comment…perhaps not after this post, however.) So let me unpack my problem with Flash.
First, a story. Last fall I was in a meeting with some folk discussing a new website. The coder of the site loves Flash and really wanted it to be a part of the new site. I strongly disagreed. (Anyone shocked?) Because the site “wasn’t aimed at kids”, the coder granted me that I might know a little of what I spoke of, but “if the site was for kids, we’d need to build it in Flash – kids demand Flash.” I didn’t bother responding then (as this really wasn’t the time or place) but I will now.
What are the top three sites that Net-Gens visit today? Facebook, MySpace and Google. And the amount of Flash used? On Facebook, none, on MySpace, embedded Flash audio and video players and on Google, well, Google is just a search site, right!? Facebook and MySpace are about community building, sharing and communicating.
But what about Flash? As one wag put it, the most hit button on the web is “Skip Intro.” Flash isn’t communication, it’s interruption. Flash says “look at me, look at me.” It’s style over substance – and it largely gets in the way of communication – and certainly in the way of any type of collaboration.
One of the biggest problems with Flash sites is the inability to do an internal link.
I’m intrigued by a church called The Journey. They are doing some great stuff in St. Louis. I’d love to give you a link to their Church Planting info. I can’t as it’s a Flash based site.. I can only give you a link to the site itself – you’ll have to navigate the Flash to find out what I’m talking about.
We love pizza in our family. We order online often from the Pizza Pizza site. And get to hit the Skip Intro button almost everytime (if I forget to use the bookmark for their online ordering – the site does have internal links). I’m absolutely confused by the need for the Flash opening. I’m at their site to either find their phone number (if you’re a Torontonian you have it memorized, trust me), to find a location or to order online. Why the heck do I need to be interrupted by their jingle and a stupid animation. Someone in marketing should check the stats on the skip intro buttons…there are two on the front page – AND LOSE THE FLASH.
Spiaggia‘s food is fabulous – their website is terrible. A pointless use of Flash that is more annoying than anything else. The site suggests that the restaurant owner is related to some budding Flash designer. “Sure Tony, you can build the site for me. Just remember, I need people to be able to find my phone number and our menu quickly.” “Tony” failed.
The site I dissed that Pernell reacted to is the site for the Evolving Church conference. Let me say that as Flash design goes…it’s definitely a Flash design. No internal links – Flash animation for the sake of Flash animation. Effective communication…I’ll let you be the judge. Feel free to tell me how wrong I am.