[thelist] flash detection

Martin martin at members.evolt.org
Mon May 7 09:38:29 CDT 2001

Hash: SHA1

Erik Mattheis wrote on 6/5/01 11:57 pm

>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?

I haven't worked with those companies, but I have worked with
companies of an equivalent size. And you know what? The web
(or rather using it as a business too) scares the pants off a 
lot of people.

The reason for this is often because there aren't the kind of
benchmarks and case studies available which help executives
make an informed choice. So if you trust your agency (and many
large companies would curl up and die without their agencies'
advice) you do what they suggest.

How do you think that Scient/Viant/Razorfish did it?

The other factor (which is far too common) is that large
companies have vain people who work for them the same
as everyone else. And a new medium like this is very easy for
a bullshit artist to get ahead in.

I worked for a client last year (not my current employer) whose
eBusiness was run by vain, bullshit artists who wasted 30m UKP
on utter crap because they saw it as their prerogative to be 'funky'.
It there was a whizbang thing on offer, they took it. Example - 
I don't know if anyone remembers the utter pain of
http://www.balthaser.com, but the people in question were seriously
commissioning them to rebuild the site which had substantive usability

The eBusiness ultimately died because they prefered whizbang to
stuff which served the customer.

So it wouldn't actually surprise me if the people you mentioned
above hadn't done the RoI analysis and testing. They may well have
done, because there *are* good clients out there. But they're not
universal, so pointing to a couple of examples of Flash users
and extrapolating that Flash gives +ve RoI isn't valid, I'm afraid.

Now I'm not actually against Flash per se. If it gives the client
business benefit, then fine. But you absolutely cannot say "Everyone
has Flash so we should force the user to use a Flash interface
for any bit of functionality we like".

Remember the KISS principle. The default client side coding for any
site should be standards-compliant, clean HTML with a minimum of
imagery. Give me a case-by-case justification for anything else,
and I'm happy.


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email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID: 0xA835CCCB
       martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail: 30 Shandon Place
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