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Will Flash usage survive the jQuery challenge?

1 October 2010

It’s been around since 1996 and over 95% of us have it on our desktops and laptops, but opinions are as polarized as ever on Flash.

In the corporate communications world, web design is becoming more stripped back all the time as designers and their clients appreciate that usability is far more important than the way things look, feel, move and sound. It’s nice to have it all, but if you could choose just one thing you’d go for usability every time.

So … why would you want to incorporate something that’s slow to load, difficult to optimise for search engines and delivers uneven accessibility? The answer has to be engagement – creating a branded piece of digital experience that adds sufficient value to justify the compromise.

OK, we’re hanging on in there, but then jQuery comes along, offering to do much of what Flash does but with speed and accessibility. So now, if you want to create a funky image selection you can do it without Flash – http://demo.marcofolio.net/polaroid_photo_viewer/ (dig the sunglasses!) – or if it’s an image carousel you’re after – http://demo.marcofolio.net/polaroid_photo_viewer/ – jQuery will create some nice transitions for you. While it doesn’t have the 3D capabilities of Flash, there is subtlety of screen refresh in this switch display example – http://www.sohtanaka.com/web-design/examples/display-switch/

And then we hear that iPad doesn’t support Flash … and then there’s HTML5’s video capabilities … Oh dear. Adobe must be feeling the chill winds.

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