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30 Beautiful and Innovative Flash Designs

This post was written by Jacob Gube of Six Revisions.

Flash is unparalleled when it comes to providing users a highly rich, memorable, and interactive experience. For developers, nothing matches Flash’s relative ease in allowing them to develop dynamic, complex web-based applications. For a vast majority of users, the required Flash Player plug-in is already installed, making it the most popular choice when it comes to animation and effects on the web.

If you’re looking to learn more about design websites, please see our post Learn Web Design for plenty of resources to help your educational pursuit.

When should you use Flash?

  • When there’s a need for rich, dynamic user interactivity. JavaScript’s ability to provide fluid/smooth effects and interactivity is made easier with frameworks such as script.aculo.us and mootools, but it doesn’t come close to what Flash has to offer in terms of dynamic animations, effects, and interactivity.
  • When accessibility is not a high-priority. Flash, unfortunately, is not as accessible when compared to an XHTML based design, not only for assistive technologies such as screen readers, but also for non-traditional browsers such as those found in mobile devices. For example, the Apple iPhone does not currently support Flash.
  • When you need to show off your abilities. Flash developers naturally opt for Flash-based designs so that visitors can see their aptitude in designing Flash applications. In this way, Flash is also appropriate for those in similar fields such as web designers, developers, and front-end interaction designers.

When should you use something else?

  • When you expect a wide variety of visitors. If your website caters to a niche such as individuals interested in graphics and animation, chances are, they’ll have Flash Player browser plug-in installed and enabled. But if you anticipate a large range of viewers, that last 2% of people who don’t have Flash installed can mean hundreds of visitors not being able to view your website. In addition, many users disable Flash because of Flash-based advertisements.
  • When it doesn’t add value or interactivity to a website. Some websites use Flash simply for the sake of using Flash. When it doesn’t compliment the design or enhance the user’s experience, it’s best to use technologies and techniques such as JavaScript and CSS instead.

In this article, I’d like to present 30 outstanding websites that truly showcases the power of Flash and the ingenuity of their developers, as well as to inspire you should you choose to design using Flash.

American Airlines

American Airlines

Prospect Denim

Prospect Denim

Zikadias

Zikadias

Red Bull Flugtag Flight Lab

Red Bull Flugtag Flight Lab

The Lure Lounge

The Lure Lounge

Audi R8

Audi R8

Deadline Advertising

Deadline Advertising

Teh Cafcat

Teh Cafcat

Canon EOS 400D

Canon EOS 400D

IKEA – Back to college

Ikea

TurboChef

TurboChef

AIGA

AIGA

Suitsupply UK

Suitsupply UK

Starbucks Coffee At Home

Starbucks

Got Character?

Got Character?

IFAW

IFAW

PiotrowskiMichal.com

PiotrowskiMichal

Lake Nona

Lake Nona

Carbon Studio

Carbon Studio

Climax Media

Climax Media

Erguvan Platin Evleri

Erquvan Platin Evleri

Greenlight Marketing

Greenlight Marketing

Imagined Creative

Imagined Creative

Nokia: Nonstop Living

Nokia

Hema

Hema

Converse

Converse

MINIUSA.COM

MiniUSA

Bearfootfilms.com

BearfootFilms

Volkswagen 60 jaar

Volkswagon 60 jaar

Some tips on designing with Flash:

  • Avoid opening another browser window. Not only is it annoying to the user, but pop-up blockers may suppress your Flash application from opening.
  • Don’t ask the user to click a button to enter. It’s unnecessary. Just load your movie without requiring an additional action from your viewers.
  • Don’t resize the user’s window. Some designs force the browser to be resized, avoid doing this or you risk frustrating the user.
  • Don’t remove the browser’s navigation. Similar to resizing windows, when you remove the controls of a browser (such as the back and forward button), it may frustrate your users.
  • Make sure your Flash movie loads quickly. A good time to aim for is less than 5 seconds on a broadband connection — any more and you might find that many of your visitor’s will leave before your application loads.
  • Consider having an XHTML version of your Flash site. You can use JavaScript to detect whether the user has Flash, and then serve the appropraite version of your site. Here’s Adobe’s Flash Player Detection Kit. This is not a completely bullet-proof method, so another option is to present the user with a choice upon entering your home page.

Jacob Gube is a web designer/developer and the creator of Six Revisions, a blog that shares useful information and resources for web professionals. To follow Jacob at Six Revisions, subscribe to his feed.

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