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Future of Web Design 2007: Standards vs Flash

Saturday, April 21, 2007

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Standards vs Flash
Florian Schmitt, (Hi-ReS!) & Jeff Croft, (World Online)

Jeff – Two random reasons for using web standards

Reason 2 – needs to provide tons of content presented in a way users expect
they need to learn how to navigate the site
eg marketplace site for laurence, kansas

Florian – uses flash

Reason 1 – knows nothing about the web, wants to get in fast
first project – 30 days (Flash trial length) – soulbath – a celebration of things that are wrong on the web

Reason 2 – wants to mess with people’s heads and create his own OS, eg Jack OS with Word:m’fucka registered to Vanilla Ice and Excel:rose

Initial thoughts:
-The I’m a mac, i’m a pc analogy doesn’t work for flash vs web standards

We should be long beyond the flash 99% bad debate and realise that they both have strengths and weaknesses

Common use of flash / html
The main principle (accessibility aside) should be that the concept and the idea determine the tool and language you choose.

In some cases this might be exclusive use of one tool, or a combination of them.

Where does Flash make more sense? Where does HTML make more sense?

Example 1 – news sites  – HTML eg
- deep linking & back button very important (difficult in flash)
- People want to be able to copy and paste (possible in flash but not intuitive)
- Good brand experience comes as a result of providing quality news content, not via a rich interface

Example 2 – experience sites
Branded entertainment / broadband / immersive
Sony Bluray- has flat version to comply with DDA – all deep links bring up the same flash if flash is enabled
Beck – all flash. some beck fans loved, some hated

- Brand experience is key
- People are open to assisted discovery
- Deep linking interesting from a viral perspective
- SEO / DDA complience are obvious concerns
- Database-driven, content-heavy sites. Do they work?

Example 3 – application sites
eg picnic, scrapblog, flickr, 37signals
- Emulating the desktop environment
- Not sure whether this is possible with web standards – quicker to use flash to build these sorts of sites
- Picnic – flash – slow, but uses flckr API and flash to do some very nifty stuff
- scrapblog – again using flash – forget that you’re using a browser

Combined use
- NYTimes Campaign finances data – database content -> xml -> flash display
- Lawrence Journal-World elections
- Nathan Borror’s studio
- swfIR – swf image replacement – rounded corners, drop shadows etc. Nice.

What are standards?
Does a high penetration make a technology a standard by default, ie. Flash for video?

If the latest Flash player has much greater penetration than the latest browser that fully supports web standards, does that make Flash a standard in practice, if not in name? [no, if a company defines standards then we end up with a dangerous situation...]

- why does everything on the web have to be 2D?

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One comment

  1. Hey, it´s great, but deep linking in flash is not difficult. Try read about in

    Ruben Rojas
    on April 23rd, 2007

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