To Flash or Not To Flash, That is the Question…
To Flash or Not to Flash? That is the question… and no, I don’t mean revealing the fleshy, family jewels to unsuspecting pedestrians. I’m referring to the critical question many businesses face when building their websites.
Adobe’s Flash has long enjoyed its role as the premier multimedia development platform for a richer web experience. For a time, Flash held a monopoly on the ability to produce “oohs and aahs” over websites, allowing businesses to catch and retain the all-important attention of the eConsumer. Then, Apple – fearing a development coup – made a firm stance against Flash, prohibiting its use on the iPhone and iPad. Instead, Apple decides to fully embrace HTML5, which, supposedly, can emulate many of the Flash features. So now, you’re left with this dilemma: Use Flash and risk underexposure to millions of iPhone users OR don’t use Flash and risk creating a website that gets passed over for lack of pizazz? Let’s take a closer look.
These days, “instant gratification” takes too long. With Apple and Google pushing limits and crossing boundary after boundary in technology, particularly mobile technology, it’s no surprise that people are demanding access to information anytime, anywhere. How does this affect you and your business? Let’s say you just met someone whom you’d like to impress with your new website. You whip out your iPad. Oh wait… your website is in Flash and the iPad does not support it. Or, you have an Android phone (Take that, Apple!), but you don’t have the latest version. Doh! So with all that time you wasted trying to get your Flash website to work, you lost the opportunity to woo someone with your fancy-shamancy website.
Here’s something else to think about. Whether you’re an Apple fan or not, you can’t deny that the iPad is a game changer; throngs of industries and creative professionals have embraced the iPad and multi-purposed it to their specific needs. First to market tends to control the market; just another basic principle that we all learned in business 101. So if the Apple iPad/iPhone/iTouch are dominating the mobile market, is that reason enough to forgo the Flash?
Personally, I love some of Flash’s features, not to mention that I’m a self-taught Flash developer. But even I’ll admit that Flash tends to take up a chunk of resources when loading in your browser, making for some awkward wait time.
I know that a number of creative professionals, who have stuck by Flash, actually have a separate mobile site specifically designed for the mobile experience i.e. less load time, simpler interface. But, not everyone has the money or the time to build both a Flash site and a mobile site. I certainly don’t. To Flash or Not to Flash…that was my dilemma, and in the end, I decided to build just one website that would satisfy both the mobile needs as well as the “at-computer” needs of web browsing. Did I make the right choice? … We will soon find out. My new site launches in a couple weeks.