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Agriculture, skepticism, politics
Header image
Agriculture, skepticism, politics

Flash is bad, m'kay

| Posted on in technology

Flash is a very bad way to build websites. It’s not only about SEO. It’s about usability. For the same reasons that mature developers don’t use “fly-out” or “drop-down” menus, you shouldn’t use Flash because it requires you to do one of two things. You can either alienate the growing minority of users using alternative user agents or you can “sniff” to find out what the user is using and deliver one site if the user is using Firefox on a Mac and another site if the user is browsing using Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile. Either option is a bad decision.

Properly designed websites keep usability in mind for 100% of possible users. They’re made with semantically valid XHTML and CSS. They don’t start animation or sound without the user clicking somewhere to request it. They don’t require the user to download something special like Flash or Java. They load faster because of the lighter page weight caused by separating the markup (XHTML) from the layout (CSS). They have a good navigational structure that doesn’t rely on drop-down or fly-out menus. They can be browsed effectively with a text-based browser or screen reader. They are very well-indexed on search engines because they’re so accessible.

Flash does have one redeeming quality. It is the current, defacto standard for video distribution. Until Silverlight gets out of diapers, it appears we’re stuck with Adobe’s pile of steam for now.

Aaron

twitter.com/traffas | auctioneertech.com | aarontraffasband.com

Aaron Traffas farms near Sharon, Kansas. He currently generates content at HeavyWorth and, before that, spent 18 years with Purple Wave in Manhattan, Kansas. A 2017 nominee for Songwriter of the Year at the Rocky Mountain CMAs, Aaron is an active singer and songwriter and the Aaron Traffas Band's latest release, Enter: The Wind, can be found at iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Aaron served as president of the Kansas Auctioneers Association in 2017 and on the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees from 2009 through 2013. An active contract bid caller, he has advanced to the finals in multiple state auctioneer contests.

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