[thelist] flash detection

Ben Dyer ben_dyer at imaginuity.com
Mon May 7 09:21:54 CDT 2001

At 05:57 PM 5/6/2001, you wrote:
>The way some of you talk, one would think you could walk into the 
>marketing department of BMW, Disney ... wherever ... and tell them that 
>they're wrong for using Flash. And do you think such places haven't done 
>studies that have shown a measurable benefit from using Flash instead of 
>straight HTML? Do you think they'd still be using Flash otherwise? Why are 
>some of you afraid to look outside of your fascinating web safe color 
>command-line world? It's not too scarry, I'm sure.

No, I don't think that these guys have done studies on Flash vs. HTML.  I 
believe they've probably done focus groups ("How does this make you feel?" 
"Would this site make you more likely to consider BMW in your automobile 
purchase?" etc.) with users who saw the site, or a prototype, 
once.  Probably not asked to move around the site, or to achieve a goal, 
which is ultimately what users do.  And it's not just me, all users, 
colleagues, non-internet friends, my Mom, all of us go to a site with a 
specific goal in mind, not for an experience.  If we want an experience, 
we'll watch TV, because then we don't have to do anything.

>At 11:42 AM -0500 5/4/01, Ben Dyer wrote:
>>My, that's pig-headed.
>>It's our jobs as developers to be at least somewhat accomodating, even if 
>>that means more work.  The problem I have is that most developers think 
>>that our users owe us something.  Why don't they upgrade?, well they must 
>>just be morons or Luddites.  We'll force them to upgrade, that'll show 'em.
>You've got it backwards ... the reason for requiring Flash is to deliver 
>the user a higher quality experience.
>Add to your list of Morons and Luddites: "People's who's Network Admin 
>enforces a policy against changing the standard configuration" and 
>"Stubborn developers who are so bland they disable it" and you've pretty 
>much covered the Internet users I usually don't give a hoot about past 
>telling them they need something they don't have. Well, I do wish the 
>"stubborn" group would give in ... they'd be better developers with a 
>bigger tool chest.

First off, let me say that I don't have Flash disabled.  I do have it 
installed and it is version 5.  I keep up with all plug-ins usually ahead 
of the curve of the average user.

Now, how does Flash deliver a higher quality experience?  Or, more 
importantly, does it even matter?  Too many people put the value in "good 
experience" on a web site.  "Good experience" is subjective but "bad 
experience" is almost universal.  What you perceive in Flash as a "good 
experience" might be considered bad, tedious or irritating if I'm just 
trying to find out your contact information.

And besides, even if you have a "good experience," who's to say that the 
user even cares anymore tomorrow, later tonight or even five minutes from 
now?  Flash sites initially were cool because it was new.  Now, Flash sites 
are a dime a dozen and many can't be distinguished among themselves.  What 
good is experience if experience is all the same?


Ben Dyer
Senior Internet Developer
Imaginuity Interactive

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