Apple The Greek VS Adobe The Trojan
February 27, 2010 3 Comments
by Elias Shams
Referring to one of my last post about Steve Jobs using iPad as his Trojan Horse, I am slowly beginning to believe that indeed he launched the iPad to revolutionize the Web by killing the Flash with HTML5 using the iPad as his Trojan Horse:
According to the recent poll conducted by Mashable, HTML5 handily knocked out Adobe Flash. With 3,891 votes, HTML5 garnered 61% of the polls. Adobe Flash was able to muster 1,779 votes (28%), while 660 said it was a tie (10%).
Let’s face it, Flash’s success has always had more to do with Adobe’s aggressive business practices than any inherent popularity Flash ever had.
Problems disappearing without Flash
Flash has been a buggy problem for many years when it comes to ecommerce and getting ranking on search engines. Some developers like it because of the bling but people who know the truth realize it restricts the web site and reduces sales. Granted these are extreme cases of sites which use Flash extensively, but there are other cases where even a little Flash can be improperly used.
There have been many ways to display a website and its content. Some are more successful than others. But there is one aspect of web development which has been hotly contested between designers of websites and those who position them. That is the use of Flash.
Flash has been around for some time now and while it is pretty (for lack of a better word) it can seriously hinder a websites ability to position well in the search engines. This is because most search crawlers can not see nor effectively index flash or its contents. Therefore anything contained within the flash, including page content or more importantly site navigation, is invisible to them.
Where does one balance the need for search engine indexability with the need for impressing customers?
Less Flash occupying the page is better, as well as having as little content embedded within it as possible. Further, where the Flash appears on the page can have an impact on its ability to deliver the intended message. There are cases when sites place important messages, via flash, in these locations. But if many people tune out these locations, they are also tuning out that important message. Hence the reason the Flash doesn’t do so well on the page.
Too often, as people are orienting themselves to the page, their eyes scan the page and are all over it for a few seconds, and then fixate on the top left of the page. If you have a Flash movie running (and especially if its one without controls) they have missed a few seconds of that message. And we all know what good a message is that’s incomplete?
Another reason for minimizing flash usage: While more and more people are adopting broadband every day, still close to half of the US uses dial up. Which means everything takes longer to load. And if these users are waiting for a flash movie to load, they could navigate away from your site in frustration because the page is taking so long to load.
Assuming Apple’s Trojan Horse strategy works and they win this battle, would it mean that Flash websites would eventually need to be redesigned in HTML for browser compatibility? wow!