Monday, 14 November 2011

Important advice to web designers

Don't ever, ever make a fully Flash-driven website. Please.

I've recently been looking at the Singtel website to help Denise choose a new phone. But I'd like to share some opinions about the consequences of using Flash:

1) Websites that have a loading bar are incredibly irritating. This is an all-too-common feature of websites that are completely built on Flash. Don't let this happen, I would rather have a less pretty website that loaded at the same speed as any other site. Avoid.

2) Make sure that I can open new items in new tabs. If I am choosing from a range of phones I want to be able to have them all open at once so I don't have to keep going back to the list of search results to look at a different phone. The otherwise excellent website is another example of this - it can only handle one journey being viewed at a time. Not helpful.

3) Flash crashes. I don't want to have to reopen Chrome every time the Flash plugin that is integral to the website's functionality crashes - I like to look at other websites at the same time and don't want to reopen them. I will make an exception for Youtube, as their video player is great. But then again Youtube rarely crashes my plugin.

So there you go, three important considerations the next time you consider building a website out of Flash. Don't. Try HTML 5.0.


  1. Jon, you are sounding like Steve Jobs, and I thought you hated colouring books.

    For work we technically have to use Firefox (or IE). But for some reason my Firefox kept stalling for about 15 seconds when loading certain websites (esp National Rail). I couldn't work it out, eventually I systematically disabled plugins, and what was the root cause? The flash plugin. I have not been able to find a cure for it yet, so have moved to Chrome as I'm not likely to go back to IE soon (and will have to see whether work don't like me doing this).

  2. I rather hope I don't sound like Steve Jobs - I always used to think of Apple and Adobe as being chips off the same block and that was why they didn't get on (whilst Adobe still made stuff for Apples).

    My opinions of Macs have not changed even if an opinion of mine happens to coincide with Jobs.

    I haven't tried Firefox for a long time actually, considering giving it another look.

    Have you heard about the Occupy Flash movement?