Flash has evolved from a simple Web drawing and animation package to a complete multimedia development environment.
Flash has become synonymous with animation on the Internet.
Flash used to be inaccessible for users with disabilities, but the 2002 release of Flash MX changed this by including support for accessibility. What was once a barrier has turned into an opportunity for making advanced Internet features available to users with disabilities.
Critically, Flash technology still tends to discourage usability:
- it encourages over design. Many Flash designs now resemble advertising and users have conditioned themselves to ignore or click off anything that looks like an ad.
- it consumes resources. This problem is decreasing rapidly as computers improve.
- it takes time to load. Many people on dial-up connection will not wait for the Flash content to load and click past it, or worse, click off. As more and more areas offer high speed internet, this problem will decrease.
Know your target audience before deciding on whether or not to incorporate Flash in your site.