An Argument for Flash-Based Sites

By Deane Barker on September 15, 2003

Flash Vs. CSS/HTML: Which Will You Choose?: I hate Flash. What I hate even more is when someone presents a well-reasoned argument for why it beats HTML.

“Remember my original statement, ‘HTML and CSS will never be able to do what Flash does’? While this is true, it’s quite possible that in the future, Flash will be able to achieve what HTML and CSS do. The short comings of Flash as outlined above may not be present in the near future. It’s conceivable that Flash will be able to separate content from design, and serve up pure content to the search engines and text readers; after all, Macromedia is working on these problems right now.”

One of the biggest issues I have with Flash is that it gives designers too much freedom. HTML imposes conventions on Web pages (click on a link, new page loads; click and drag over text, it gets selected). Sure, these conventions impart some limitations, but with those limitations comes uniformity, and with that comes usability.

Flash enables desginers to disregard these conventions, and usability drops through the floor. I know how an HTML page is going to react to various actions, I have no idea what a Flash movie is going to do.

If there were a set of guidelines for Flash development that all Flash developers would follow, so that Flash sites followed the conventions and functionality of HTML sites, then I’d be all for it…I guess.



  1. Flash makes me think back to the early days of CD-ROMs when each CD you bought had the designer’s own view of what a GUI should look like and how it should act. Every one was like using a slightly different OS.

  2. I wonder, though, with the latest legislation between Microsoft and Macromedia, what the future of Flash will be. Zeldman had a great article about it. What it says, basically, is that IE will have to be crippled so that it doesn’t have the Flash Player, and will have to use some funky application separate from IE to launch it.

    This could make Flash even more of an irritation to people who could care less about how people MAKE websites, and just want to see them and get to their content.

  3. Flash is for the now generation. Name one thing you can’t do in Flash. It’s dynamic and I suits my needs. I do agree 1% with what you say, I’ll give you that!

  4. I can’t belive what TrackBack said. “I hate Flash. What I hate even more is when someone presents a well-reasoned argument for why it beats HTML.” Are you kidding me, you don’t like it when someone shows, through reason and logic, that flash is better! Stop living in the past, flash is the future of the web, unless something better comes out, HTML is dead.

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