One of the more common questions we get from clients when starting on a new website design is: “Should I use Flash?”
People come to the design process with all sorts of preconceived notions about what Flash can and cannot do for them. A lot of the time, this is because people get all sorts of conflicting advice from friends, peers and even other designers.
For most websites, we do not recommend using Flash. Flash is a great tool, and it can do some really fun and interactive things. Most of these things, however, are best used in games, instructional videos or tutorials and kept off of websites. (Unless, of course, your site is dedicated to gaming or another interactive purpose in which case Flash may be more useful to you.)
Flash has several downfalls. It requires users to have the fight plugin installed. Although this isn’t a big issue, there are people out there who intentionally do not install such plugins. If the important thing you wanted your user’s to see is stuck in a Flash movie, some people might be missing it.
Search engines do not index flash content. If your site is programmed primarily in Flash, it is going to be pretty much invisible to Google. Search engines need to see text, text and more text. Good, quality content writing is often a better investment than Flash.
Having read all of that, you may think it is a wonder that Flash gets used at all. Flash is a powerful tool, and it does have it’s place. However, that place should be limited in modern web design to maximize the value of the site to both you and your users.