I’ve heard it mentioned, but what exactly is Flash?

Adobe Flash is a multimedia application and platform originally acquired by Macromedia and currently developed Adobe. Flash is a popular method for creating animation and interactivity for websites and other multimedia applications like CD ROMS and DVDs. Flash is commonly used to create animated advertising banners, intro animations and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications. Recent versions of Flash have also introduced Flash Video, for playing online video on websites.

Overview – Who uses Flash?

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether to use flash or not, and whether it’s accessible to users. There is no simple YES or NO but like any other tool, Flash has it’s uses and can be used to great effect, but should not be used for it’s own sake.


Statistics of Flash

As for usage, flash is probably more common on user machines than you might think. According to Adobe’s census ‘Flash content reaches 99.0% of Internet viewers’.

As for Flash VERSIONS the coverage is also pretty good. From version 7 onwards the flash video player was introduced, so most flash users upgraded in order to view Flash Video (flv).

Information on flash version usage is available from www.adobe.com/products/player_census/flashplayer/version_penetration.html

Advantages and Disadvantages of GIFs

A GIF file that contains only one frame is called a static GIF.
Animated GIFs are image files that contain images and text in a slideshow format. Animated GIFs are made of a number of images (frames) that are displayed one after another which creates the illusion of motion or animation.


* They can contain animation
* They can tell messages through slides
* They can have a very low file size
* They require no plug-ins for the users to view them
* GIF banners work on mobile devices


* GIF banners are not interactive
* They can be very annoying
* GIF banners are not as engaging as the flash ones
* Image quality can sometimes suffer

Advantages and disadvantages of Flash


* They can be eye-catching and smooth
* They can be animated and ALSO interactive
* Can tell stories using image, text, video and sounds
* They can entertain and engage users


* Require the users to have Flash Player installed
* Can make pages slower to load
* If not used well they can annoy users

All in all, its horses for courses. Flash is a tool like any other, very good when applied in a relevant, intelligent way, pointless when used for the sake of it without an thought. Please contact us if you have any flash related questions.