Flash is actually a brand name for software produced by Macromedia that
produces high-quality animation. Pretty much everything you see on the
Web that looks amazing involving animation uses Flash. This includes high-end,
popular sites such as msnbc.com, which uses Flash on the pop-up menu navigation
bar. The image to the right is an example of a simple, fast-loading Flash
But do all Computers Have the Ability to View Flash?
To view Flash animation on your computer, it's necessary to have a Flash
Plug-in. This is a small download that now comes with all new versions
of Windows since Windows 98 (for Mac users, since Mac OS 8.x). 89% of
browsers out there have Flash right now. That means 89% of the viewers
are ready to view Flash, with no downloading of plug-ins necessary. Occasionally
there will be a user out there with a very outdated version of a browser
who won't be able to view Flash without getting the Plug-in. This is why
a good website will allow the user to opt out of the Flash portion. Or,
if your entire site is in Flash, the user can choose to look at your site
in quick-loading HTML.
Why Use Flash?
Effective use of Flash can make for a stunning and unmistakably professional-looking
website. There will be no doubt your company is serious about attracting
customers and providing the best products or services available. A good
Flash designer can also integrate original Flash designs with your company's
logo or existing photos to create a million-dollar look for your website.
What About Download Times?
Flash movies don't have to be huge, so they don't have to take long to
download. They can have preloaders so they maintain their appearance even
though someone might have a slow connection. However, if you want to have
a really in-depth Flash movie with a lot of Flash
animation, you can give
users the choice to skip over the Flash and go right to the heart of your
site (the quick-loading HTML portion).
Flash Learning Module: Rotational Motion
Full Flash Site: DRC Onsite
Flash Gallery: Diane