Friday 26 March 2010

The case against Flash

In her article Why can't the world's best architects build better websites Alissa Walker picks up on one of my pet peeves about 'creative' websites (this goes for you too, certain major art institutions)

Architects are the original interactive designers. They're skilled at creating navigable structures. They specialize in designing rich experiences for their users. But if architects designed their buildings the way they designed their Web sites, they'd all fall apart.


Most architects' sites rely on an animated technology like Flash. While this is perfectly appropriate for some interactive experiences, is not what you want to be using if your site is--like most architecture firms' sites--a long list of projects that you want to be easily searchable. Flash sites often rely on gimmicky navigation using images and rollovers instead of simple, clickable text. And in general, a Flash-based site can't generate a URL for each separate page. So say you do end up finding the project you were looking for--you're not able to index or email it. This is when you find yourself saying things like, "Click on projects, then roll over the little museum icon, then click Michigan, then click on the floating image in the white square..." Can you imagine giving the same kind of directions inside, say, a building?

It's a great piece. Go read it.

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