Should I use Flash?


One of the more popular debates in the past year revolves around the use of Flash technology and Apple’s stance of not supporting it on their mobile devices. This lack of support and the looming HTML5 standard caused a lot of tech companies, including Mediaura, to look for simpler, cleaner alternatives. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does Flash add something unique to this task/project?
  2. Can it be done another way?
  3. Who is the target audience (mobile/web/ both)
  4. What is the best user experience?
  5. How important is SEO?

In some cases, Flash is still king. Look at popular games on Facebook. They are almost all Flash-based. Most of the banner ads on the internet are still Flash-based, with a JPG or GIF backup for non-Flash enabled browsers (i.e. iPhone and iPad).

But if we’re talking about a fading slideshow on your homepage, or an animated dropdown menu or navigational button then you can accomplish this with JavaScript and/or CSS and have a cleaner experience for the user that works on all platforms.

So as of today, it’s still a useful tool, and we actively create content using Adobe Flash and Flex. It’s just not always the right tool, and that is where experience comes into play.

If your interactive partner insists on using Flash for your entire site or large portions of it when it’s not necessary, ask them to use an alternative technology. If they can’t honor this request or explain why this is the better choice, then you may need to find another developer.

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