I love this quote from Douglas Crockford: What a Flash intro says to me is "I hate my job. What I really want to do is make films. But they won't let me do that because I don't have talent. So watch this Flash intro." Soon as I read it, I immediately thought of Dack Ragus, whose Web Economy Bullshit Generator made me wish I'd supported verbs in BuzzPhraser. Even Way Back When, Dack was a devout disparager of Flash. He wrote Flash is Evil in 1999, then updated it in 2002. As he put it then (and it still applies, too often, now),
Incorporating Flash into an HTML page or splash screen is bad, but entire sites built with Flash are positively evil because they make the Web much less usable. Flash sites render useless the browser's Back button and address bar, and make bookmarking pages inside a Flash site impossible. Printing Flash pages from your browser doesn't work, nor does intra-page keyword searching. Finally, Flash sites eliminate HTML links' visited and unvisited colors, and that color-changing feature is the Web's single most important navigational cue.
Anyway, I just revisited Dack, and found he'd kept up to date, with Ajax Run Amok:
Just like they did in '96 with frames, '97 with Flash, and '98/'99 with DHTML, the usability wonks need to saddle up and take on the wave of ridiculously bad implementations of AJAX... [I added that last link. - ds]
Anyway, it's good to know Dack's still in fine form.
And a word to website designers: Most of the time, most of us aren't looking for an "experience". We're just looking to find stuff. Bear that in mind.
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal
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