Flash Design

What is Flash?

Some websites have video-like text effects and animations on their website that seem to load in a very short amount of time. This effect is most likely created using Flash, a multimedia platform developed by Macromedia. Depending on target audience you may be able to judge whether using Flash will be beneficial, since there are disadvantages in using Flash. It's not recommended to use Flash on any fundamental part of your website.

What are the disadvantages of using Flash?

If Flash controls a major part of your website you can run into the following problems.

  • Search engines have difficulty following Flash files, this means your site will probably not get ranked very highly on Google. At present Google can just about read some text and follow some links in Flash files. If you are looking for a lot of traffic for search engine it's best to use it sparingly.
  • Some people don't have the required Flash plug-in installed on their browser for whatever reason. The estimated number of users that can view Flash is 97.4%.
  • Flash files can be quite large and take time to download particularly on a dial-up connection.
  • Flash has caused major problems to people with disabilities, making it more difficult to enlarge text and use screen readers.
  • It simply annoys many people - particularly when it's used in places it doesn't add real benefit to the website.

It is recommended you should only use Flash when it is not possible to create the desired effect using standard methods.

What are the advantages of using Flash?

  • If you were to try to recreate a Flash animation using gifs or other methods the file size would most likely be huge. Many designers go overboard when using Flash (by using many pictures and adding music), but if used effectively the file size can be relatively small considering what the animation contains.
  • Flash animations appear exactly the same regardless of the browser or platform being used. With standard pages written in HTML there are normally very slight differences in the way the page appears.
  • Graphics and text can be set to resize depending on the size of the browser window. ie. the website can always appear to cover the entire screen width and height with the text and images always appearing in the same positions. This feature is not available using HTML.
  • If used correctly many people think it can add to the overall quality of a website.

How much do you charge for designing Flash?

Whether it be a small Flash banner, menu system, introduction or an entire site in Flash we are confident we will be able to produce an effective animation for your website. We charge our normal rate of 30 per hour.

 Here is an example of a Flash animation we designed for our website.