Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Work I'd like to see but never will

I'd love to look at the work on Ian Baguskas website.

Unfortunately, his website uses Flash. I hate Macromedia flash websites. My incandescent hatred of Flash based websites is brighter than a thousand suns. Heck, it's brighter than a million suns. I hate them so, I cannot express my incandescent hatred of Flash websites in mere words.

I hate the way every Flash website designer feels he/she must reinvent the website human interface, so that every single damn Flash based website becomes yet another damn learning experience as I struggle to figure out yet another example of a website designed by someone who thinks viewing photos on a website ought to be a puzzle akin to playing Myst.

Face it, you moronic Flash website designers - I'm part of your client's target market, and I don't want to learn another godawful, horrible, nasty interface designed by a moron who knows nothing about interface design. I don't want to watch bits of the interface animatedly scoot around when I click on something. I just want whatever the heck I clicked on to just take my browsing to the thing I selected, without trying to mesmerize me with animated crap.

I hate Flash based websites that, when you click on the 'enter' on the splash page, throw another window with the damn URL toolbar disabled, so that I can't copy the frickin' URL and email it to another person. Oh, no. I can't even TYPE the URL because the site has only one url, because in the Flash website designer's near perfect ignorance, the idea that someone might want to, say, EMAIL A URL TO AN INTERNAL PAGE IN THE WEBSITE simple didn't occur to them. I mean, God forbid I might send email to my wife, saying "Hey, look at THIS photo! I want to BUY A PRINT and hang it in the exercise room, where I can gaze upon its beauty as I exercise". That might result in an actual SALE, which is not what Flash websites are about. Flash based websites, apparently, are not about people looking at the stuff on your website - hell, no. That's a game for technolosers. Flash websites are all about looking cool while not allowing the viewer to do anything useful!

I hate Flash websites which insist on taking seconds and seconds to ooze the frickin' image onto my screen. Hey, moronic Flash website designers! The reason why I pay scoods of bucks for an outrageously fast 5 megabit/second internet connection even though I live in the back of what most people consider the middle of freaking nowhere, amongst the cougars and bears and other wildlife - the reason is that when I view a website that has lots of photos on it, I don't want to have to wait for the images to load, because life is short and I don't want to spend it sitting here, tapping my toe, waiting for the image to display on my screen. That's especially true when the reason I can't just jump instantly to the next photo is because you decided that you should make me wait in anticipation for 15 seconds watching the images fade out and then fade in before I can view the next photo in the sequence.

I hate Flash websites which fix the size of the window, so that if I go to view them full screen on my widescreen 30" diagonal 2560x1600 pixel display, I get a little suppurating slow hard to use website sitting in the middle of the vastness of my screen. The reason I got a big huge screen is that I want to sit back and view websites in spacious glory, not so that I lean forward and view a squinty little stupid Flash based website that was intended for a screen so small I can put a bunch of windows that size on my screen AND NOT HAVE THEM OVERLAP!!!

I hate the way text from Flash websites cannot be cut and pasted, so that reviewing such websites is a tedious chore of retyping the text. I hate the way the text in a Flash based website can't be indexed by search engines, and the way I can't use the site search feature of Google to search for something specific within the website. I hate the way the text cannot be sized using the browser text size control. I hate, hate, hate it.

I hate the way every god damn Flash website proudly tells me I can download MACROMEDIA FLASH PLAYER 8. For free! Sure, guy. That makes me feel much better about having to install a buggy piece of software to view your lousy website that I already know I am going to hate the very femtosecond my eyes spot the 'This site requires MACROMEDIA FLASH PLAYER 8' on the splash page.

I hate it. I hate Macromedia Flash. I hate it to death.

And here's the bottom line if your website is done with Macromedia Flash Player: I will not view your website. Instead, I will mock your decision to build a stupid, hard to use, slow, rebarbative website. And I will do it publicly, and I will show no mercy.

And then I will go visit some other website, and the photos on your damn Macromedia Flash Player based website will never be seen by me.

So I'm sorry, Ian Baguskas. I'd love to view your photos. Really. I'm sure I would love them. But your website will never be browsed by me, because I Just Can't Stand Flash Based Websites.


Blogger Albano Garcia said...

I can't identify more with your thoguhts. Sadly, as a web designer I sometimes need to use it in order to satisfy specific client's wills. I use pure html whenever possible. If you want to see some cool photos from Argentina in html:
but specially my project:

5:40 PM  
Blogger Gordon said...

I design websites for a living. What you said doubleplus!

5:43 PM  
Blogger Edward Richards said...

Want to get serious about Flash? There are legal requirments for handicapped access, at least for all institutional sites, and probably many private sites. No flash site comes close to meeting the standards:

36 C.F.R. § 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.

(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).

(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

(c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.

(d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.

(e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

(f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

(g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.

(h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.

(i) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.

(m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with § 1194.21(a) through (l).

(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

(o) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.

(p) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

8:21 PM  
Blogger gravitas et nugalis said...

Hey Paul - I hope your chain saw and any other impliments of destruction are well out of reach when you're on a roll/rant like this...

FYI, I agree with you. Welcome to the brave new world of infotainment, the world of flash and dash. It's all about the buzz, baby. Style over substance is the way to go.

Get with the program dude. How about some dancing bears, cougars and assorted wildlife sounds on photo-musings?

5:34 AM  
Blogger scotth said...

Something else to hate; the way Macromedia Flash Player tries to update itself every couple of minutes.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Dave New said...

I agree that Flash is overused, but I've found that it, or something like Quicktime is very valuable for certain presentations:

1) Soundslide-type shows,
2) Time-lapse presentations, and
3) Zoomify-like controls

These all provide the ability to enjoy something beyond just a simple image view, for those that like that kind of thing.

There's no excuse, though, for forcing someone to sit through a 'Flash-based experience', for simple image viewing, unless they specifically ask for it.

11:48 AM  

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