The Future of Flash in Web Design
I have always questioned the practicality of Flash within web design. Initially Flash was avoided because load times were too much to bear for dial-up users. But as high speed internet became the norm Flash websites still had trouble finding a permanent home in web design, and the truth of the matter is that Flash doesn’t belong in web design.
The unfortunate thing is that people who want new websites seem to be in love with the idea of Flash. And while I have seen the application put to good use within websites, I think it usually does more harm than good. There are several arguments against using Flash to design components of (or God forbid entire) web sites but this day in age they are stronger than ever. One of the most significant arguments is on the side of Search Engine Optimization. A long time ago Google announced that they had established the ability to crawl flash files for textual content but here we are several years later and the results are far from astonishing. While sooner or later search engines may develop the ability to crawl through flash files and pull significant data for search results, right now it remains sloppy.
These are two of the most powerful arguments against Flash but certainly not the only ones. Flash design can be through the roof expensive, especially for small companies or projects. Flash sites throw a big wrench in mobile browsing where both application support and download times once again become a factor. Finally, Flash files can be a real pain to update, although incorporation with XML helps this considerably.