Many websites use videos, animations, and other visual graphics to enhance their content. One of the software components central to the ability to provide this content is Adobe Flash. It is a free download that can be installed on most PC platforms, some mobile devices, and other operating systems for personal use.
The authoring system does have a price associated with it as the professional version is part of the Creative Cloud from Adobe. Thinking about what this software could provide your website? Then here are some of the pros and cons of Adobe Flash to consider today.
What Are the Pros of Adobe Flash?
1. It supports advanced interactivity.
Adobe Flash can provide visitors with animation, audio, and other advanced forms of content interactivity. This helps the visitor engage with the content in a way that is much more personal than just reading words or looking at cool photographs or graphic designs.
2. It integrates well.
Adobe Flash will work with most other web technologies that are available today. The only exception to this rule would be with certain Apple products – especially their mobile devices. Flash friendly websites do not always display well for users that have older models of the iPhone or the iPad.
3. Most web users are already using Adobe Flash.
The saturation rate for the free Adobe Flash player has been above 95% for nearly a decade. Some web browsers even have a version of Flash that gets installed when the user authorizes the browser for the system. This means fewer visitors will see error messages when they visit your website.
4. It has an extensive community.
Developers have been utilizing what Adobe Flash can do for quite some time. Not only is there an extensive system of community supports in place if problems arise, but there is also a large cache of no or low-cost pre-built files that developers have made for other developers so you can get your site up and running quickly.
5. It works with many bandwidth requirements.
Whether a visitor is using a broadband connection or they’re still connecting through a rural modem connection over the phone line, Adobe Flash can still work for you to give that visitor the content that they want.
What Are the Cons of Adobe Flash?
1. Sometimes interactivity drives people away from needed content.
In the early 1990s, the average website someone would visit would be based on what the developer thought was a “cool” design. Today’s internet user demands a certain experience on each website they visit. Interactivity with content is a good thing… until it distracts visitors from the content you want them to see. You really can have too much Flash content.
2. It may not adequately promote your brand.
Your website is intended to make a point. That point leads to a brand identity. Having great visual graphics doesn’t mean you’ve got great content. You’ve got to use Flash to introduce people to your brand instead of it being the main component of your brand.
3. Adobe Flash is proprietary.
This means you’ve got to pay to play. The internet was built on the idea of having an open and honest dialogue with one another. It’s a concept that promotes mutual ownership amongst 7 billion people. If you bank on using Flash full-time and that’s all you’re using, what happens if Adobe decides to pull the plug on the program? The .swf format might be in the public domain, but having third-party products isn’t always the same as having products from the source.
4. It discourages website usability.
In many ways, Adobe Flash causes developers to become lazy with their UX. They get caught in the trap of working out a great animation and forget about something as simple as menu navigation. The internet is based on a style of interaction where there is some give and take on both ends of the spectrum. Without that, there’s a good chance you’ll have a high bounce rate.
5. The Flash design tends to be the first thing that catches a visitor’s eye.
First impressions still matter, even on the internet. When there is a graphic or animation based in Flash that is on a landing page, it tends to catch the visitor’s eye. If it leaves a negative first impression with that visitor, there is a 99.9% chance they’re going to bounce without every looking at your content.
The pros and cons of Adobe Flash show that when it is fully integrated with your other content, it can be a very good thing. Don’t use it as a stand-alone system. Think of it as one of the many tools you’re using to reach your targeted demographics and you’ll be much more likely to have a positive experience.