“Hate” may be a too strong a word for it. There are plenty of nifty applications for Macromedia’s Flash, from the singing horses through Mark Fiore’s cartoons to the oldie-but-goodie Frog Blender. And truth be told, there is many a situation where a flash movie is pretty much the only solution.
But there the following situation, all to prevalent, that really tick me off.
I think these are actually getting less prevalent but they are still out there. You go to a company’s main URL and you are greeted with a big-ass, expensive looking animation. Actually, more often than not, you are greeted with a progress bar slowly making its way across the screen as you frantically hunt for the blissful release of the “Skip Intro” button.
What are they thinking when they do this? Do they believe that visitors want to be looking at their flying logo for a minute or so before we access the information we want to get from their site? No we don’t want to watch! You’re wasting your money and my bandwidth and time.
Here is a great example demonstrating a completely useless intro page. Even with the movie cached locally, it takes 10 seconds before you can click on a link into the actual site. Note the total absence of a “Skip Intro” button (you’re going to watch this, damnit!).
I love this one almost as much as frame navigation. Again, it’s mostly done as gratuitous eye-candy. It comes usually in two forms. A link either opens a new Flash movie, along with its lovely progress bar, or it transitions to another section of the same movie, making it impossible to bookmark anything but the top-level URL.
Compare the navigation and responsiveness of Canon’s older EOS-1D page with the newer EOS 10D page. They both use flash, but the first one only for images inside of HTMl documents. Which one is faster, easier to navigate and can be book marked? Also, notice how you’re prompted to answer the question of whether you have Flash. If only there was some way for the computer to figure this out automatically…
I can’t find the link for this, but I have actually seen sites that display lots of text-only content as a flash movie! It takes forever to load, has that “custom” look that clashes with all the other sites and, of course, is not parsed by search engines nor can sub-sections be easily book marked.
If you’re tempted to put a flash movie on your site, think about it twice or three times. Ask yourselves these questions:
If you answer “No” to any of these, seriously reconsider using flash for that application.
I don’t mean to be a bugger about all this, but all of these issues have been addressed as of the last two releases of Flash (MX and MX2004). Regardless of issues, the Flash Player is THE most prevalent piece of software IN THE WORLD, with over 515 million installations worldwide (this is possible because of multiple browsers’ support). It allows cross-platform application development and deployment, where NO other software ever has before. Most of the issues mentioned above are not problems with Flash, they are problems with developers’ and clients’ perceptions on what makes there sites more marketable. I didn’t see one issue, including the text display problem, that good development can’t or hasn’t overcome. I understand aggrivations. I have them too, but the simple fact is this: Flash contains within its browser plugin and development software the greatest means of internet marketing and creation of shared desktop applications of any tools available. If you need more proof of Flash’s worthiness, just check out Macromedia’s Flash site, and let them convince you. I think you’ll be impressed with what’s available…Posted by: jls on October 13, 2003 1:54 PM
Just as I don’t blame Sun for the horrendous Java applets that disgrace some pages, I don’t fault MacroMedia for the sites that abuse Flash. The fact that a good developer and designer can do amazing things with Flash doesn’t really mitigate the fact that there is a ton of crappy Flash sites and applications out there.
As an owner of Flash MX, I appreciate the design of the application and what it allows you to do. But my owning Flash (or Fireworks or Photoshop, etc.) doesn’t make me—nor, apparently, the unwashed masses of Flash “programmers”—a designer or an expert in human interface design.
So yeah, I appreciate sites that have well integrated flash content—and I may not even notice that they are Flash driven if they work correctly. But I curse every time I’m hobbled by a slow-loding, garrish Flash page (or Java applet or PDF document).Posted by: Stepan on October 14, 2003 1:51 PM
Check my all flash site, be brutally honest please. Thank you.Posted by: Greg on June 13, 2004 5:48 PM
this time i’ll make sure the url shows up. I assumed that by entering it in the ‘URL’ field, it would appear in body of the post. I did not preview it, admittedly. Again, as an admitted Flash hater, please rip it apart, if you feel like it.
I can’t STAND flash. I love the content…I love the idea. But seriously, whoever designed the interface and workflow for this program was a fucking MORON. I’ve been a computer animator for almost 20 years. Usually I can pick up a new program within minutes. I have been banging my head against Flash’s horrible interface for years. I give up..and then re-visit it a year later, only to give up again. Macromedia should be ashamed of themselves for creating such a steaming TURD of an interface. Shame on you!Posted by: Angry Designer on July 12, 2004 10:39 PM
I STIL HATE ITTTTTTTTTT!
I hate flash navigation with a passion but must admit to using frames. I will close a window rather than wait for a flash page to load, and I’m on cable.
I especially hate it when movie sites, in order to make movie images proprietry, use flash to prevent anyone downloading or even referencing still shots from movies.
C’mon, people, you’re releasing the movie to the public, surely a couple of screenshots on the net won’t hurt! Van Helsing was a particularly bad offender.Posted by: Boots on July 20, 2004 8:24 PM
Using Flash for text-only content is one of my pet hates. Does it look good? Maybe. Is it functional? NO. Does it allow you to bookmark pages a few layers into the website? NO. Overall, is there any point? NO.
I’m just getting used to Flash and I have to say, the interface is awful, and debugging Flash scripting is a nightmare.
I’ve been toiling with flash for the last couple of hours trying to make an XML driven menu (so it’s dynamic). What is it with all this firstChild crap? In order to traverse an XML file you end up putting references in like xmlobject.firstChild.firstChild.firstChild. … arrrrghhh! Why? Don’t even get me started on storing local variables. Ey!
p.s. I got to this page after googling “I HATE FLASH”, so that shows you what kind of mood it has put me in ;)Posted by: Goldfish on August 23, 2004 10:13 AM
One of the most offensive uses of Flash are the growing number Web sites that are completely inaccessible unless one enables it. Oddly enough, many of these are business sites that apparently don’t care if they lose business as a consequence of making Flash a requirement…Posted by: Ricardo on November 1, 2004 4:39 PM
I think that whether a program’s interface and workflow is good or bad is 1) a matter of personal preference and 2) a matter of learning. Yeah, it’s great when you stumble on a piece of software that pretty much resembles one of your favourite proggies and you can start making masterpieces right now. But some programs just don’t work this way. Just a few hours reading some tutorials can go a long way.Posted by: blue flash menu on March 27, 2005 1:18 PM
I’m a webdesigner.
I know Flash.
I (have to) use Flash.
I HATE Flash.
Flash has nothing to do with the Web.
Someone who knows PHP/HTML/CSS/XML/etc. will understand that its just stupid, crap, etc…
You guys can be happy, you just have to see it - i have to work with it, i have to do it… (i need to earn my butter on the bread)
And you cant imagine what a holy f***** shit app mm flash mx 2004 is..
Imagine you have to code something in PHP/C++ and you have FRAMES?
I really am starting to hate flash for HTML forms. I have spent like 30 hours trying to get them to work. I am ready to drivve down to macromedia’s world headquarters with a flamethrower and let them know how I feel about actionscripting in a very personal way.
It takes 10X the coding to generate Flash forms to go through something as simple as matts formmail. Working is a different story altogether. I’m getting sick of all the “do it with XML” or “PHP” or with a MySQL database. I just want to process simple forms, not split atoms!!!!Posted by: Dave on March 22, 2006 5:29 PM
I also got here by googling “I hate flash”. I have to try to use it to prototype a mobile application. So I’ve spent the last 2 weeks trying to learn it. Dear lord, what an appalling tool! It appears to be impossible to create anything substantial that doesn’t have fragments of code in a thousand different places. Spaghetti code is a symptom of bad coding in other languages - in Flash it’s mandatory. I spend at least 2 hours a day resizing the windows so I can see more than 2 lines of actionscript at a time. And it calls itself object oriened; that’s just a sick joke. A dreadful, dreadful tool with an authoring interface that makes me want to punch strangers. Steer clear.Posted by: Ross on June 27, 2006 4:34 AM
Personally, I detest Flash and refuse to have it install on my browser (Modzilla). Its seem easy to write in, but when I’m browsing and those adds are flashing and making noises I makes me so angry I really want to hit people. Why can’t we just turn off the annoying windows?
Flash wouldn’t be so bad if we, the users, had control over it. Why don’t they think of the consumer?
Companies that have ‘flash only’ web sites, just lose my business.
I dislike flash because it glitches and pops and obscures text in web pages. It chugs most of the time unless you are doing only one thing with you’re computer i.e. web browsing. I never just web browse - I usually have email and music playing and ripping some tunes. For video content the interuptions/lag are sooo anoying. I want to be able to download movies so I know I won’t loose connection or get stuttering half way through. Movies in a postage stamp size window which are full of mpeg artifacts aren’t much fun to watch anyway. :(Posted by: DissapointedInFlash on May 11, 2007 8:39 AM
I hate flash with a passion. I have a programme to kill it dead, and stop it nagging me if I want to install it. No I bloody well dont. Despite all this it sometimes finds it’s way back under some install or other. If it does then it does it without asking ‘cause I would NEVER allow it. That makes it spayware or malware in my book.
I have to have it on my computer at work apparently, the admin guys wont let me kill it. Those adverts drive me crazy. They are so annoying.
But at home if a web site tells me I cant view their page ‘cause I dont have flash installed then its click on the white x in red square time and another lost sale if I’m looking to buy.Posted by: Stacey Kadium on July 18, 2007 1:53 PM