If advertising involves making the right information as accessible as possible, why do so many ad agencies insist on using Flash to sell themselves online? The popular platform has its uses—YouTube won’t work without it—but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all of most online experiences.
Flash is eye candy that makes many designers and web developers forget the basics. Why bother structuring your website to provide much-needed information about your brand or business right away, when you can “wow” potential customers with animations and hard-to-navigate menus that take minutes to load? I guess relying mostly on pictures and text isn’t that sexy, even when “conventional” web design can lead to pretty awesome results.
The problems caused by Flash-driven websites are made worse by the Philippines’ sucky internet connectivity. Only large companies and the very wealthy can afford to pay for supposedly fast internet plans that are barely more reliable than residential counterparts. On a slightly unrelated note, even Rolex.com, a site that allows visitors to disable Flash for a faster browsing experience, still forces them to sit through a business-killing loading period.
The point is that—except in special cases—Flash should complement your site’s online experience, not drive it. I suspect ad agencies like using Flash for their own websites because again, it’s all about the eye candy. Whether they’re trying to outdo each other or make a flashy (hehe) first impression however, they end up with confusing websites that aren’t helpful to visitors.
Here’s a little experiment: pretend you know nothing about an ad agency and visit their site. Would you be able to quickly find out what the agency is about, what they do, and what they’ve done? Would you know right away how to contact them if you’re interested in their services? I rest my case.
(Cat-tastic image by kennymatic on Flickr)