Flash is easy to develop for, particularly if you are a designer. Flash is pimped by many design schools as the saviour of the web – I suspect because it’s easier for lecturers and students to look good in front of faculty. This has resulted in a flood of Flash-savvy design students…
It takes many years to master the intricacies of css, the language used to visually format the HTML of the webpage (which contains the content).
Flash-only websites are typically criticised for ‘breaking the web’ – encouraging bad interaction design, destroying the functionality of your browser’s back button, and making search engine indexing of the content imperfect at best.
Further, it has not scaled well to the burgeoning number of mobile devices accessing the web — if you are an iPhone / iPad user (or any other mobile platform), you’re out of luck. Savvy tech commentators, like my favourite morning read, John Gruber’s Daring Fireball, have long weighed-in on problems with Adobe’s Flash software:
“if you think people using iPhone OS devices are an important segment of your intended audience, you can no longer build a Flash-dependent web site. (And if you don’t think people using iPhone OS devices are an important segment of your intended audience, you’re probably wrong.)”
About 10 years ago I used Flash for nearly all our designs – but I ditched it for the newly emerging web standards approach of developing rich websites – I could no longer ignore those usability issues.
Flash is still useful in limited situations – like how we use it on our homepage which does not exclude mobile users from accessing the site.