Originally posted by Tim Brown:
I am struggling with an attempt to improve the website for my company and have done a fair bit of research into website design. One of the common "rules" concerns the load time for a page - it shouldn't be excessive. I tried to access Billy's page but bailed out after about a minute or so (the flash crap just took too long). So I think that the mentioned page failed instantly in terms of hooking me as a customer. I should mention that I am using my home connection (which is a meager 56K dial-up) and I am sure that it would load much faster from my office T1 connection. But the commmon logic of web design warns you to build the site for the most common denominator in terms of your desired customers and that most people still use a slooooow dial-up.
The answer to your objection is in the text of your objection.
Billy Harris is (apparently) aiming at the corporate world. Typically, planners who will make the decision Billy hopes they will make favorably in his direction are connected to a firehose, which contrasts greatly to your drinking straw connection.
In this case, a Flash presentation is appropriate use of technology, given the target audience and the level of connectivity the target audience will utilize.
Also, the sophistication of his (apparent) target audience has been weaned from simple, "fast-loading HTML" -- which is no longer a relevant phrase anyway -- and onto more meaty, sophisticated presentations.
It's the difference between speaking in street language and speaking in properly formed sentences using proper syntax. Either is appropriate, depending upon the given situation and context.
Buying crack on the corner using the question, "Pardon me sir, but I would like to obtain from you at a fair, market price, a small quantity of crack cocaine. Would you care to discuss this now, or later?" would probably more likely get a bullet in the forehead as a response.
This is the same relative response crappy, amateurish web sites get from $120,000 a year executives in charge of making decisions. Except this response is the gift that keeps on giving.
I agree that Flash has been misused. I'm not much for sweeping generalizations but I feel more comfortable uttering this one: all technologies are misused occasionally.
Same goes for Flash, and the implimentation of a particular Flash presentation.
Designing a web site that does the job requires the same talent that a great promotional piece takes. I used to bill between $2,500 and $5,000 just to design letterhead, envelope and business cards. Now the client could have just gone to the printer on his own and flipped through the clipart books instead -- at no more cost than his time.
The target audience would dictate the appropriateness of either choice. I found attorneys happy to pay my fee, but house-washers would not.