Have Business Web Sites Become a Little Stale?

The short answer is yes, a little. If you think back to ten years ago, you will remember that web sites had interesting animations and other functions that made the pages more fun, useful, and exciting. So, what has happened to make web sites so lackluster and a bit stale?

Mobile Web Reduces the Use of Adobe Flash

Anti Adobe Flash sentiment is largely to blame. Adobe Flash enables web sites to better protect their source code while adding animation, media, and incredible levels of interactivity. Unfortunately, as the Internet became more accessible through mobile web, the use of Flash was pushed to the wayside. Many mobile devices will not support Flash. The ones that can support flash see their batteries and their data plans drained quickly.

Creating Animations and Interactive Experiences Using Hype

Tulmult released a new form of web animation software, hoping to provide the replacement for Adobe Flash; this new software is called Hype. Hype is an application that has many similarities to Flash, but with fewer of its shortcomings. Hype’s interface features a lot of the same drag and drop editing elements that made Flash so easy for even beginner web designers to use. Hype also generates web standards outputs consisting of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.

The downside is that Hype may have received too much hype. While it is a decent tool for basic web site animation, it has a very long way to go before it is able to create animations or video clips that can rival those created by Adobe Flash. Hype also has many of the same drawbacks associated with Flash, including longer load times. While this tool may be useful for very basic additions to web sites, experienced web designers will likely be left wanting more.

Google and Search Engine Optimization

There has been a change in priorities. While people still want professional web design, it has become more important for most businesses to rank well in search results for the desired keywords. And who can fault this line of reasoning: you may have a beautiful web site with fantastic animations, but if no one can find your web site what good is it? So gradually this initiative to achieve top ranking in the search results trumped visual web designs that were perhaps more cinematic and dynamic visually. Web site content became more bloated. Social media icons started to litter the landscape like discarded trash.

The problem with this approach is that we have swung the pendulum to another extreme for the sake

So where do we go from here

It was probably time to turn the page on Adobe Flash and find a better solution for today’s mix of devices, especially smartphones and tablets. Until new tools like Tumult’s Hype can compete with the power and feature set of Adobe’s ActionScript 3.0, I would say – to misquote Mr. Twain - the news of Flash’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.  I'm not wishing for a comeback for Flash, I just hope that we can demand more from ourselves to create sites that are fresh, appealing, interesting, and compatible with all devices. It shouldn't be that hard if we just focus the team on a better standard.