Simon Willison’s Weblog


Flash Functionality not quite so flash

17th March 2003

What Do I Know points to Macromedia’s progress report explaining how thy have been responding to feedback on their recent site redesign. Todd Dominey makes the following insightful observation:

Perhaps most interesting, to me anyhow, was the crossroad of choosing which tool to use to solve a particular navigational problem, and the internal politics that likely surrounded their decision making. Case in point—the drop down option boxes on their index page. In Beta 1, the forms were created in Flash MX. In Beta 2, they have been completely replaced by tried and true, raw HTML option forms.

The Flash versions were styled nicely, with radius corners and a fancy diagonal light bevel, and some pretty nice interactivity. But did they solve any particular problem that a standard html form couldn’t handle? The answer was, and is, no. Sure, they looked nice, and were a good showcase of what you can do with Flash, but were they worth the extra bandwidth, page weight, and development time? Apparently not. They have been completely removed and replaced with much more familiar, lighter, and easier to update standard option boxes.

This is Flash Functionality not quite so flash by Simon Willison, posted on 17th March 2003.

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