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Why I hate Flash

Inneraction, a local training/production centre launched their new site today. What a horrible disaster. This site epitomizes everything I detest about Flash and Flash Developers.

My first complaint is the fact that it takes over your entire screen, obscuring your desktop and taskbar at the bottom of the screen. From a usability standpoint, this is a huge mistake (not to mention rude) – removing the users’ familiar desktop environment, and taking over the entire screen with no obvious way to flip out of the site.

The navigation within the site is over-complicated and horrendously counter-intuitive – it took me a good 5 minutes of exploring to figure it out. Upon my second viewing of the site, I realized that there was a little animation that plays at the beginning that explains it, but if you miss it (as I did on my first run), you’re SOL.

The content within the site is poorly organized, and sometimes barely readable – between the colours they chose and the font sizes, I found myself squinting to read.

The entire site runs pigishly slow – even on a DSL connection – and there is no Low-Bandwidth option for dialup users. And when I tried to submit my comments in their comments section, the damn forms didn’t work! All-in-all, a horrible user-experience from a company that is out there training people to work in a business that relies on good user-experiences.

I don’t actually hate Flash or Flash Developers. I believe Flash has its place on the web. I’m not one of those all-text-no-fun-web-designer-types… I just think that there are some basic principles of usability that publishers should stick by, especially if your site is content-driven. It’s one thing to want to do something new and fun, but if users can’t access your content, what’s the point?

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