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 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.
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.
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.
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.
For more design inspiration, see:
- 25 of the Best Photographer Portfolio Websites
- 50 of the Best Church Website Designs
- 50 Inspirational E-Commerce Website Designs
- 25 Flash Portfolios for Your Inspiration
- 27 of the Best Real Estate Websites
Published April 28th, 2008 by Steven Snell