Joe Sparrow / Illustrator - Animator - Designer / 07758224292 /

Monday, 9 March 2009 - COMING SOON!

slight rant ahead

we spent the last two mondays learning how to make websites in flash, which pretty much makes sense to me now. The general thing now is that because flash is such an easy-to-use program and it's earned a reputation in the creative industry for creating wacky, animated sites (for example, this) they introduce it to us now because it's relatively simple to make things like moving buttons and such. However, I hate these kinds of sites. I hate most flash-based sites I go on because they don't work on the same principles of more ordinary sites and idiot web designers don't realise they need to compensate for the difference - if you're on this site, for instance, and you press the "back" button in the browser (as, you might agree, the average person would, if they wanted to go back a step) it works "outside" the flash engine and will take you to the previous site you visited rather than the previous page. Different "pages" in flash sites won't show up on your history, either. I mean, this shouldn't in theory annoy anyone but they're just factors of html browsing that flash essentially sacrifices in lieu of a nice WYSIWYG interface and fancy (often needless) animative posturing.

If you have a flash website for your company or business, and a client more familiar with more "standard" browsing techniques visits, then these sorts of things are most likely going to annoy them. You want to go back to that last page you visited, the one with the contact details? Oh, no, you've gone back to the google search results you found the site on.

Oh, and you know that sweet little intro page that you put on the front end of the site? The one that has maybe just the name of the site and a button saying "enter" on it? Maybe a little animation? Frequent visitors are going to get sick of looking at that.

Essentially what I'm doing here is justifying the fact that I pissed off the lecturer for spending the last two weeks making my site in dreamweaver. I used some flash elements, but I used them sparingly and so their presence isn't really notable apart from a convenient "animation" viewing section and some unobtrusive pulsing colours on the homepage.

Last (but by no means least) Flash has begun to garner a reputation. A lot of people (say "hi!" guys!) have got it and a lot of people are using it to make animations (myself included). Unfortunately its ease of use and easily-acquired visual style will make it a ripe target for the critics a couple of years from now. What
i'm saying here is be prepared for the prospect of jumping the Flash ship.

I'm looking forward to having it done.

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