30 Beautiful and Innovative Flash Designs

This post was written by Jacob Gube of Six Revisions.

Flash is unparalleled when it comes to providing users a highly rich, memorable, and interactive experience. For developers, nothing matches Flash’s relative ease in allowing them to develop dynamic, complex web-based applications. For a vast majority of users, the required Flash Player plug-in is already installed, making it the most popular choice when it comes to animation and effects on the web.

If you’re looking to learn more about design websites, please see our post Learn Web Design for plenty of resources to help your educational pursuit.

When should you use Flash?

  • When there’s a need for rich, dynamic user interactivity. JavaScript’s ability to provide fluid/smooth effects and interactivity is made easier with frameworks such as script.aculo.us and mootools, but it doesn’t come close to what Flash has to offer in terms of dynamic animations, effects, and interactivity.
  • When accessibility is not a high-priority. Flash, unfortunately, is not as accessible when compared to an XHTML based design, not only for assistive technologies such as screen readers, but also for non-traditional browsers such as those found in mobile devices. For example, the Apple iPhone does not currently support Flash.
  • When you need to show off your abilities. Flash developers naturally opt for Flash-based designs so that visitors can see their aptitude in designing Flash applications. In this way, Flash is also appropriate for those in similar fields such as web designers, developers, and front-end interaction designers.

When should you use something else?

  • When you expect a wide variety of visitors. If your website caters to a niche such as individuals interested in graphics and animation, chances are, they’ll have Flash Player browser plug-in installed and enabled. But if you anticipate a large range of viewers, that last 2% of people who don’t have Flash installed can mean hundreds of visitors not being able to view your website. In addition, many users disable Flash because of Flash-based advertisements.
  • When it doesn’t add value or interactivity to a website. Some websites use Flash simply for the sake of using Flash. When it doesn’t compliment the design or enhance the user’s experience, it’s best to use technologies and techniques such as JavaScript and CSS instead.

In this article, I’d like to present 30 outstanding websites that truly showcases the power of Flash and the ingenuity of their developers, as well as to inspire you should you choose to design using Flash.

American Airlines

American Airlines


Prospect Denim

Prospect Denim

Zikadias

Zikadias

Red Bull Flugtag Flight Lab

Red Bull Flugtag Flight Lab

The Lure Lounge

The Lure Lounge

Audi R8

Audi R8

Deadline Advertising

Deadline Advertising

MaxHaus Virtual

MaxHaus Virtual

Teh Cafcat

Teh Cafcat

Canon EOS 400D

Canon EOS 400D

IKEA – Back to college

Ikea

TurboChef

TurboChef

AIGA

AIGA

Suitsupply UK

Suitsupply UK

Starbucks Coffee At Home

Starbucks

Got Character?

Got Character?

IFAW

IFAW

PiotrowskiMichal.com

PiotrowskiMichal

Lake Nona

Lake Nona

Carbon Studio

Carbon Studio

Climax Media

Climax Media

Erguvan Platin Evleri

Erquvan Platin Evleri

Greenlight Marketing

Greenlight Marketing

Imagined Creative

Imagined Creative

Nokia: Nonstop Living

Nokia

Hema

Hema

Converse

Converse

MINIUSA.COM

MiniUSA

Bearfootfilms.com

BearfootFilms

Volkswagen 60 jaar

Volkswagon 60 jaar

Some tips on designing with Flash:

  • Avoid opening another browser window. Not only is it annoying to the user, but pop-up blockers may suppress your Flash application from opening.
  • Don’t ask the user to click a button to enter. It’s unnecessary. Just load your movie without requiring an additional action from your viewers.
  • Don’t resize the user’s window. Some designs force the browser to be resized, avoid doing this or you risk frustrating the user.
  • Don’t remove the browser’s navigation. Similar to resizing windows, when you remove the controls of a browser (such as the back and forward button), it may frustrate your users.
  • Make sure your Flash movie loads quickly. A good time to aim for is less than 5 seconds on a broadband connection — any more and you might find that many of your visitor’s will leave before your application loads.
  • Consider having an XHTML version of your Flash site. You can use JavaScript to detect whether the user has Flash, and then serve the appropraite version of your site. Here’s Adobe’s Flash Player Detection Kit. This is not a completely bullet-proof method, so another option is to present the user with a choice upon entering your home page.

Jacob Gube is a web designer/developer and the creator of Six Revisions, a blog that shares useful information and resources for web professionals. To follow Jacob at Six Revisions, subscribe to his feed.

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39 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • Ben, April 28, 2008

    Flash websites are such fun… These are beautiful, but I really struggle to understand what many are about – and how to use them. I guess that’s why they are best for portfolios and very specialist sites.

  • Zeta, April 29, 2008

    flash design are beautiful but it takes more time to developped whereas technologies like PHP or simple HTML

  • John B., April 29, 2008

    Another good tip — don’t start playing sounds right away. Normally, I root out the window making noises, and close it immediately. It is probably the most annoying possible thing a site can do, and flash sites are a huge offender.

  • danni, April 30, 2008

    very nice article, thanks!

  • Vishnu, May 29, 2008

    They are beautiful my dear…

    Pss.. I flew the redbull plane.. :)

  • chrisK, December 8, 2008

    I think a lot of people who say “don’t make sites ‘in Flash’” are either A) strictly coders who don’t have a creative bone in their body and know that their Flash work would reflect that, or B) people who have creativity but think that exempts them from having to know anything technical. I’m not extremely technical but very interested in learning and am primarily a creative person, I love how Flash allows me to marry these two aspects of myself. All the websites I’ve done are in Flash, I’ve presented the pros and cons of HTML v. Flash and every time the client choses Flash despite the higher price.

  • Designer, January 20, 2009

    beautiful and creative work

  • Thailand flash design, May 1, 2009

    Another interesting article from your blog :) When will it stop….hopefully never

  • Landreville, June 7, 2009

    erm… the Lure Lounge uses javascript for its crazy awesome effects.

  • smith, June 25, 2009

    Amazing flash design, I have few of them but not as good as those you presented. all of them are awesome..

    thanks,
    smith

  • Marcia, July 31, 2009

    Yeah the designs are great and btw for a long time it was considered that flash websites are not SEO friendly and people were afraid to invest in flash site. Now things have changed with adobe search engine SDK and we should expect flash sites becoming more popular.

  • Research Paper, October 8, 2009

    Thanks for sharing. Amazing flash designs.

  • Dan Puroclean, November 17, 2009

    That’s awesome – the red bull one rocks

  • Jane, December 30, 2009

    http://www.shskh.com is a really beautiful flash music site. It’s a netlabel.

  • LGLab, September 12, 2010

    Really good source of inspiration, very nice flash designs, thanks for sharing :-)

  • mankis, October 28, 2010

    I completly agree with chrisK and Marcia. I just love flash and I just can’t wait the time when I won’t need to explain myself for that. And that time is coming with new Flash SEO possibilities.

  • promosyon bellek, April 17, 2011

    Amazing flash design’s. Thanks for sharing.

  • Leo Brown, May 12, 2011

    Nice Work……Keep on Sharing ….Thanks…

  • Jay, June 2, 2011

    The reason Flash sites were used less was that there was a misconception that Flash sites do not rank high in Search engine results. But now, this misconception is getting cleared, and lovely Flash websites are being designed.

  • Shalini, December 3, 2011

    Fab Designs!!

    Thanks for Sharing,”IKEA – Back to college” really Awesome

  • Anthony, September 1, 2012

    Some very sweet examples here. Audi R8 my favorite by far, and the car is nice too.