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The noughties have been a good to the world of the web. Open standards and a philosophy of interoperability have led to widespread adoption of several languages which offer power without proprietary limits.

CSS 3, Javascript and HTML 5, the heroes of this story, have established a new threshold for the general web experience without the need for installation of plugins.

But some brands are still holding out with good old Adobe Flash. Take a look at the following for examples:

http://www.rolex.com/en

http://www.cartier.com

http://www.tagheuer.com

http://www.louisvuitton.com

http://www.christianlouboutin.com

Without care, you can easily end up cheapening your brand with over the top visuals. For such luxurious brands, Flash can end up making a really poor impression. It’s time these brands and their agencies realise that you can now achieve the same brand experience results using other forms of technology.

Flash in the pan

There are currently 200 million Apple devices in the field running iOS – a system notorious for turning it’s back on Flash without remorse. That’s 200m iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches for which your Flash website, no matter how immaculately designed simply won’t show up.

Brands would have to be out of their minds to deny this audience the opportunity to view the site, especially given the broad and affluent demographic of those who own such devices.

Anything is possible 

HTML 5 in particular is becoming more and more powerful, with some even mooting it as a viable replacement for closed apps such as those available on iOS.

Google, Apple and Facebook are all pushing this technology strongly with various agendas, resulting in neat demonstrations like the following: 

http://www.ro.me/ 

http://www.weareinstrument.com/countdown/

(Find more at http://www.chromeexperiments.com/webgl

These “industry leading” brands need to realise that times are changing and the benefits aren’t just from being visible across more devices. Indeed, avoiding Flash also helps with SEO and greater flexibility when making changes and amendments to push their site and sales forward.

I’m proud to say that I’m with Steve Jobs on this one. I haven’t implemented Flash in client websites for the last year and we certainly won’t be changing that going forward. If anyone can think of any reasons to think differently, do chip in.

Ben Staveley

Published 1 July, 2011 by Ben Staveley

Ben Staveley is Head of E-commerce at dotCommerce and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

5 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

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Ronny Karam

While you're totally right about Flash and Web Standards, a lot of you bloggers forget that HTML5 and CSS3 are not officially released yet.

Not to add that most points related to those standards (to be) are still debatable. What video formats, audio formats to use? Those are simple questions/problems that are easily solved with Flash.

The Web needs to break loose from limitations like plug-ins. But till there's an alternative that actually work without much effort, I don't think many will make the switch any time soon.

almost 5 years ago

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