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Old December 26th, 2004, 09:18 PM   #16
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People are concentrating on the technology and the software when you can do wonders with just plain GOOD DESIGN. It can be done in Notepad and can be plain jane HTML as long as it has good navigation, looks handsome and provides the proper messaging.
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Old December 26th, 2004, 10:16 PM   #17
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All very interesting. I think the point Imran is trying to make is that Flash can have important practical ramifications, especially for larger and more elaborate sites. In the context of advertising wedding video services I'd call it unnecessary and excessive for most people, and a potential nuisance for customers.

For example, I went to the URL that Imran mentioned and the first thing I got was a screen saying I needed the latest version of the Flash plugin to view the site. This screen contained no other information about the company, not even their phone number, so you couldn't even find out how to contact them without installing the plugin. So I clicked on the link to install the plugin, clicked a couple more things to complete that process...and then I found myself sitting on the Macromedia web site. At this point, if I was shopping for a wedding video I would simply go somewhere else out of irritation, and I gather that I'm not the only person who feels this way.

To each their own, but for my business I figure my site should be visible to anyone on any computer with any kind of connection, without having to install any plugins. That won't change any time soon based on any trends I see occurring.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 12:14 AM   #18
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You're right, the workflow through the Macromedia site has never been smooth for that remaining percentage die-hards that don't have the flash plugin. This particular site is a business-to-business site, and an architecture firm site at that where this sort of thing is almost required, so all is good there. But we're all saying the same thing I think.

To top it off, I thought I'd mention that the site I recently just made to hock a short film, doesn't have a drop of Flash in it except for a popup video sample thingie. It isn't a totally Flash world yet, and I think we all agree on that, and that it's not the technology, it's the basic human thinking behind it (i.e., design, usability, etc.).
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Old December 27th, 2004, 04:28 AM   #19
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i have student buddy of mine whos taken my challenge and hes done quite well i think.

i pay him for every change to the site, and i also let him advertise his details on my site as well.

its wholly flash driven, however not only is it for the eye candy element, but its also used to control the information panels, gallery, background, intro, everything....
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Old December 27th, 2004, 06:50 AM   #20
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the language war is endless and silly.
As already pointed out, you can create very complex interface using flash, dhtml, java, javascript, pure html, it is just a matter of mastering properly the subject.
I agree with people who think that the message is more important than everything else that can nicely pop up from your screen.
The problem with most specialist is they know only one product and heavily depends on what their tool is able to produce.
(It is well known that when you got a hammer , you see nails everywhere.)
Additionally the put in front what they are able to do , more than what you eventually need, so the reason why so many web sites with useless flash everywhere.
Nastier is the fact that a compiled java or flash page, does not allow easy modification, and make sure a continuous business since there is nothing more changing than a web page.
The best design you can do is with a pen and a paper, designing your screen the way you want (you can do this in powerpoint too)
and then put the right thing at the right place , should it require a plain html form, a java applet or any thing else.
When i go for a website design, i go the designer for the color, shape and look and i fill the rest for the programming stuff (i am in computer sciences business).
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Old December 27th, 2004, 12:23 PM   #21
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Haha I love that - when you've got a hammer you see nails everywhere. So true.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 12:53 PM   #22
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I built my own website and just redesigned it because I saw that when people first looked at the website they couldn't immediatly tell what business we are in. that was a design flaw that I made and corrected.

If we are building websites to attract new business, then we have to design and build websites for our targeted audience and we need an understanding on what those decision makers will need in deciding to choose one company over another.

That means that content is still KING.

Next comes navigation because those decision makers need to find the key selling points in three clicks or less.

Then comes the ability to offer more than an online brochure. samples of work, testiomonials from clients, and definately how can you be reached.

I'm amazed at the number of websites that won't offer a phone number as alternative contact.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #23
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<<< You're right, the workflow through the Macromedia site has never been smooth for that remaining percentage die-hards that don't have the flash plugin. >>>

Imran: as far as I know I had a recent version of the Flash plugin on the computer I was using to try to access your site, and that still wasn't sufficient to keep me from hitting a brick wall in trying to view the site. This is an excellent example of how inappropriate use of web site technology can be a turn-off to potential customers, especially in an industry like event videography where customers aren't likely to have much patience for this sort of thing. And I don't know about you, but if I lost even a few percent of my potential customers due to avoidable web site design issues, I wouldn't be too happy about that.

According to some statistics my brother dug up, something like 10% or so of web surfers don't even have Javascript enabled, let alone the latest version of the Flash plugin. In this context, making your site dependent on Flash to get basic information isn't conducive to attracting the most customers.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 02:26 PM   #24
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You're somewhere in the ballpark with the stats (thought it depends who you trust), but really, if you're using the web with Javascript disabled, you're going to hit a LOT of brick walls, so nobody really caters to those folks save the Amazons of the world.

As far as the Flash - the client gets what the client wants! It's an architect thing I suppose. Our magic was getting them technological solutions to their desires.

It also goes further to illustrate my point, that you will be hitting more and more and more and more brick walls if you insist on not having the Flash plugin, as time goes on. It's like how software keeps requiring more RAM and processing power and hard drive space. Yes it alienates some, but it just keeps moving forward whether the holdouts like it or not. That's my only point. The web is technological medium that is driven by techies.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 06:49 PM   #25
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<<<The web is technological medium that is driven by techies. >>>

That's an interesting statement which makes sense in some ways but not in others. For my business, the web is a medium which is driven by the needs of customers, which has little to do to what techies and designers want. For purposes of conveying basic information, most technology beyond simple HTML is arguably just "window dressing," and if that in any way interferes with the end user experience then it's counter-productive.

I can see how having a nice-looking web site is important for an architectural design firm, and maybe using Flash is okay for that intended client base, but to me having a home page which requires Flash to run properly is just asking for trouble. Then again, I'd encourage all of my competitors to use lots of Flash on their web sites, because it makes my web site seem more user-friendly by comparison! :-)
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Old December 28th, 2004, 08:22 PM   #26
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see its also a marketing thing.

"the latest and greatest" so to speak...

i didnt just want flash to be an yee candy element, i wanted it to be an integral element of the site.

Content can be easily updated without having to rebuild or redesign the site, as i can just add to what i already have there.

i also use it in a different method, and i am yet to see a Flash site which uses it the way its being used here.

www.studio-d.com.au

im still working on afew content issues but in all, its a finsihed comprehensive page. Its laid out in this way as there is alot of info im wanting to convey, and this seems teh most stremalined without havin gth eneed to go through extensive menus, screens, elongated pages etc etc

Its simple.. :)

lemme know what you think!
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Old December 28th, 2004, 08:26 PM   #27
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Can I ask you all a question about the Flash. Is your text content picked up by Google?
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Old December 28th, 2004, 09:51 PM   #28
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Using Google to Google the Google web site I found this web page that lists Flash files as one of the file types Google searches. That's interesting. I hadn't known that could be done.
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Old January 15th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #29
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I build my own sites. I am currently using Visual Studio.NET 2003 Enterprise Architect but I have used several editors including Notepad. I think it's just personal preference and where you are on the learning curve of HTML/DHTML/Scripting. I try to stick with pure HTML/DHTML/ASP(.NET)/JavaScript pages with a tilt towards IE rather than the other browsers so I favor text type editors. I stay away from using plugins to display my pages. Not saying thats bad but I just prefer the more simplistic approach of not having to deal with third party software between the browser and what is viewed.

I've been building websites since 95 and I don't care for the WYSIWYG editors. After a short foray with Netscape Gold I switched to HotDog 3 and stayed with Hotdog through version 7. You have much more control over the look of your page if you write the 'code' yourself. For a given page I found that most WYSIWYG's add a ridiculous amount of extra 'code' that is really not required and they're typically limited in the attributes and styles that you can use. That being said, it is more time consuming to type the pages yourself. You can make a decent web page quickly and efficiently with a good WYSIWYG editor if you are willing to stay with in the editor's bounds. I used Drumbeat 2000 for a while and loved it. It worked well and was top of the line for it's time. I really don't know what the best WYSIWYG is now but I'd stay away from FrontPage. I've used it and don't like it........ I hear good things about Dreamweaver.
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Old January 15th, 2005, 12:54 PM   #30
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I've used Dreamweaver since version 3 and in its current incarnation it is very light on extraneous code. I always end up going into the code to make it the way I want it but it's a good way to quickly mockup a page.
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