Hey, I accidentally discovered a new reason why Flash sites really, really, really (rillyrillyrillyrilly) suck (as if another was needed) today! If you’re doing screenshots of websites, the bits that are Flash render as big white blank spaces in the screenshots.
Speaking of Flash, I have to blog something now that I’ve been trying to hold back on, but it’s all got a bit too much and I simply must write about it.
Not too long ago, I was visiting the offices of a very profitable web agency - the kind of company that calls itself an “interactive agency,” when what they really mean by describing their work as “interactive” is “You can click on it”. It’s like describing books as “interactive” because you get to turn the page. In any case, while I was there, I started admiring some images on the wall. One of the agency partners said, “Go check out [web address]! Those are the images we used in the design.” The following exchange then took place:
ME: It’s not a Flash site, is it?
ME [as disappointed as if I had just been told that I was going to have to crawl home on my hands and knees over broken glass and then through a shallow lake of ethanol]: Oh, WHY?
HIM [slightly defensive]: Well, it was what the client wanted. It’s not an e-commerce site! They just wanted to communicate the personality of the brand.
ME: I think actual human beings have more personality than a Flash site.
HIM: Well, it’s what the client wanted. We don’t do many Flash sites these days, though.
This is a professional guy whose talents and intelligence I respect immensely, having worked with him on many occasions over the years. For that reason, I didn’t really say anything else. But seriously...What is the state of things when even the cool, fun, non-BS people in the web business think that a Flash site does anything but piss people off? What is the state of things when these people can also say with a straight face that it’s okay to piss off potential customers with a Flash site as long as it’s not an e-commerce site? How is it justifiable to piss people off online, just so they can carry over their irritation with you to your offline vending? What is the big objection to offering potential customers something of real value? I guarantee that it’s cheaper than the cost of an all bells, all whistles, all annoying Flash site.
Dear ignorant business decisionmakers: The internet is not a channel. We are not all sitting here with dumb, easily amused grins on our faces, taking what’s broadcasted at us. It’s a two-way space and when useless bullshit comes at us from your direction, we’ll throw right back at you with indifference (best case scenario) or anger and a resolve against giving you money that might surprise you in its steeliness. If you want some value from us, you’re going to have to pony up some value to us.