People either love Flash design or they love to hate it. The reasons for negativity about Flash design are accessibility and SEO. People often argue that Flash reduces usability and damages the SEO facilities. The fact is Flash can be harmful only if you don’t know hoe to use it in the web design. Flash design is very attractive and it can deliver a powerful message swiftly and efficiently. Immediate communication is a basic goal of any website and Flash is the best tool to do that successfully.
Don’t make the Flash design too heavy– You must have visited a site at least once where the Flash intro took too much time to load and you simply clicked on the “skip intro button”. That’s not the fault of Flash, but the designer is guilty. When you use Flash in the intro keep the file size small and light for quick rendering. Don’t make the customer wait to see the main information.
Use it with HTML– Images can speak a thousand words and convey the message more effective than a long article. Flash is a very powerful web communication tool. You can insert and display multimedia elements such as animation and video through a website. Flash can provide a unique user experience that HTML pages can never offer. However for better usability and SEO you should integrate Flash in the HTML page. If Flash and HTML are perfectly balanced in a web design they can offer all the benefits of both Flash and HTML content.
Flash design is SEO friendly– When you optimize the Flash design with HTML, search engines can crawl the site smoothly. Even if the homepage is Flash heavy, it can still be optimized with HTML content and headers to allow search engines to index a website correctly. Flash is not an obstacle for SEO if you use necessary keywords in site.
Flash increases accessibility– Flash designers and developers can provide more accessible content using the Accessibility panel or Actionscript. They can create text equivalents for Flash movies and button labels. Flash increases accessibility by winning the user’s attention using sound, animation, graphics etc.
Flash design saves space– Hybrid websites allows Flash to save a lot of space in websites. When a visitor comes to the home page he wants to get a complete idea about the company’s product/service in one glimpse. With the help of Flash you can show a lot of item in a small space. For example a flash panel on the home page can show variety of products that you sell; one after the other, rather than just exhibiting a static photo. It saves both the space for designer and time for the end user. The message gets delivered instantly.
Flash wins a customer’s heart– You sell a good product but your website is dull and someone else sells same product but his site has Flash in it. Who will sell more? The Flash enabled site. Flash adds the “wow” factor to any site. Flash is not just about animation. If you have an ecommerce website then with the help of Flash you can offer better product customization feature to the customers. Flash map can help your customers to locate your showrooms across the globe. The interactive nature of Flash design glues a consumer to a site for a longer period.
Conclusion– Like every other online tool Flash needs to be handled intelligently. If properly used, Flash can bring many advantages to a web site.