For the non-computer geeky, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that word might be what goes down on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras festivities. Or perhaps you think of that superhero guy. Or maybe you picture one of those crazy, fun flash mobs.
But for us web designers, we have to admit that Adobe Flash Player usually pops into our heads first.
Even if Flash Player isn’t really on your radar, chances are pretty good that it’s a major part of your internet experience. Many of the videos you view on your fave webpages only show up on your computer screen thanks to what Flash does behind the scenes.
But Apple has challenged the world to see what the internet would be like without Flash. Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad devices do not support Flash, so videos that require its help to be viewed just flat out don’t work on these devices.
Instead, the most recent version of Safari, the browser that these devices use, has HTML5 capabilities. Since one of the features of HTML5 is video streaming, websites with videos that were designed with HTML5 in mind will display nicely on these devices.
But what about all those websites out there that still require Flash?
A Little DeFlashifying
Adobe doesn’t want all those websites that rely on their program to flounder on Apple devices, so they’ve come up with a solution. This article from Mashable explains that Wallaby is a Flash-to-HTML conversion tool that will help designers change Flash files into HTML5. By using Wallaby, web designers don’t have to go through a big ordeal to make their sites show up on iPads and the like.
Very cool…but what does that mean for Flash down the road? If the solution to Apple’s rejection of Flash is to convert Flash files to HTML5…then does that mean Flash is on its way out?
It’s tough to tell. After all, even though Apple devices aren’t playing nice with Flash, other smartphones and tablets are. In fact, according to this article from electronista.com, Adobe predicts that over half of smartphones will use Flash by 2012. And Adobe Flash Player still does its thing quite well on regular computers. So maybe Flash will still be useful down the road, even as the world wide web embraces HTML5.
For now, next time you use your computer to enjoy a three-minute procrastination break courtesy of a flash mob dancing its way across YouTube, thank FlashPlayer.Filed under: Experiencing the Web, Web Design
When you are coming up with a design for your company’s website, there can be a temptation to put together something flashy and trendy. After all, websites like that can be amusing to play around with.
But before you bust out all the bells and whistles, take a minute to think about exactly what you want your clients to see when they open up your page.
There are some people in your life who just wouldn’t look quite right if they rolled up to a meeting sporting 28 piercings, a tattoo-covered torso, and a pink mohawk. Your surgeon, for one. Your accountant. Since you need to trust these individuals with very specific and important life situations, a biker jacket might not be their best wardrobe choice.
The same is true for your website. If you want your company to seem legit, you might want to skip the crazy animations and other funky extras and focus on making sure that your website sends a clear message about your products and services. You’ve worked hard to become an expert in your particular field, and you want your site to appropriately showcase the awesome business you’ve developed.
There might be brilliant attorneys out there who enjoy wearing their hair in multicolored mullets, but a lawyer who looks the part is more likely to earn the confidence of his clients.
As always, you have to consider your audience. You might be able to get away with a lot of wild sights and sounds on your website if your clients are, say, eleven-year olds on a sugar high. If your client base is mostly regular, everyday adults, then a conservatively designed website is probably best for you. If there’s even a chance that your clients might get annoyed or turned off by a fancy schmancy website, you should stick to something simple and user-friendly.
The moral – Whether you like it or not, people judge books by their covers, professionals by their attire, and companies by their websites. Make sure yours is getting the right information across and making your business look good. Let YouTube handle the entertainment.Filed under: Web Design