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Design, Technology

The Flash fascination

More and more websites I look at and more and more architects I talk to, I get to realize that there is high fascination for Flash based websites amongst architects. This may also be true for other designers like graphic designers, industrial designers and more. I will stick to architects, for now!

Flash has its advantages when it comes to visual drama on-screen. But it should not be forgotten that same animation and effects may be boring and may also put viewers off.

Now that more and more websites are based on CMS (Content Management System), I am not pretty sure if flash-based websites offer equally good back-ends to manage the website content and that too at reasonably low prices. So, if you are an architect and you want to manage your content yourself, I won’t recommend Flash. It may be very expensive and cumbersome.

Now effects, fade in and fade out, changing colours on mouse hover, zoom in and zoom are some effects that one can achieve without using Flash. Simple tools like CSS, JavaScript, jQuery and AJAX do wonders. I will post some examples soon here.

Third and very important, Flash content isn’t ‘search-Engine Friendly’. This may be partly incorrect. Over the years Flash has grown and developed and I have read on websites that Flash is now “Google-friendly”. Still I don’t see many Flash websites returning in search results. Be careful there, if you want your website to be easily searched, best is to reduce the use of Flash.

Loading time, yes, the preloader that refuses to reach 100% often puts me off. Fully flash websites need a good bandwidth, Speedy Internet and some patience. Preloader, is a small bit of animation that tells you about the loading of website on your computer and often it starts from 0 and goes up to 100%, where it means is fully loaded. This time, can be a big waste but I have seen some websites where preloaders are creatively used to engage the viewers.

Conclusion, before you ask your web designer to go ahead with Flash, just inquire if the same results can be achieved by using any other tools!

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About Rajesh Advani

I am an architect and founder of ArchitectureLive! - www.architecturelive.in, the architecture and design portal from India. I craft websites and do graphic design for living. In addition addicted to photography, traveling and networking with people. Currently I am doing a research on Walkability in Kalkaji, a neighbourhood in New Delhi, India.

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