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Multimedia Flash Movies

Over the years, some people may have gotten the idea that I am "anti-Flash". More precisely, I am "anti-BAD-Flash" ... or any use of JavaScript or Flash that interferes with a visitor's ability to navigate the site or access information.

While some of the AJAX navigation systems I've seen are really cool and tempting, I'm still a firm believer that your site should be useable without plug-ins or client-side processing. That doesn't mean they'll get to see the same site as someone who has the latest Flash player and allows JavaScript or ActiveX to run in their browser; but visitors should not be forced to enable anything or download a plug-in to get around your site.

We just completed a 60 second Flash movie for a client to promote their innovative home building philosophy. In my humble opinion, this is a GOOD use of Flash. (Did Russ just use "good" and "Flash" in the same sentence?)

It is good for one main reason: It is an addition to the site for visitors whose computers are so enabled (90%), and more importantly for those who CHOOSE to view this multimedia presentation. Remember, the web puts the user in charge, and the best way to design a site is to anticipate the visitor's needs, and make the information available to them in a clear and concise manner. Hitting them over the head by forcing them to watch a "splash page" or other animation (especially if it involves the site navigation) is on par with forcing those annoying pop-up ads on them.

My advice is, be respectful and considerate of your visitors, let them find useful information and resources easily and on their terms, and you should find increased customer loyalty and better word-of-mouth (viral) promotion of your site.

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Russ Jackman, Internet Advisor
Russ Jackman is the principal of Internet Advisor, a web design and internet marketing firm located in St. Thomas, Ontario.

The concept of the "Internet Advisor" is that the designer becomes a partner or trusted consultant, who can simply provide advice and direction, completely implement a solution from start to end, or any degree in between. This insures that the strengths of a client are utilized, to minimize the investment required and maximize the benefits to their organization.

Site last updated May 06, 2020, at 02:30 PM

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