Flash itself doesn't suck. But the way some sites use it, does.

The Flash-Logo with four categories listed below
Visitors Disabled People Search Engines Browsers

Misused, Flash sucks for visitors

  • Pages take longer to open (typically 2 to 10 times or even more)
  • The visitors must wait for the intro to complete
  • A Plug-in must be installed and kept up-to-date
  • Animations are impossible to ignore

Many visitors don't even have Flash

  • Mobile Users (iPhones, PDA's, ...)
  • WebTV users
  • Members of Schools and Corporations, that block Flash in their Browsers

When users see Flash, they usually think

  • the content is probably useless and glitzy
  • it's likely to be an ad
  • it's probably not worth waiting for it to download
  • the webmaster doesn't give a hoot, that half of the visitors never get to see the content

A website that doesn't contain Flash shows its worthwhile content instantly without requiring a Plugin.

Flash sucks for disabled people

  • Sites that can only be navigated with Flash require the visitor to have functioning eyes and hands
  • People with limited sight cannot increase the text size to make it legible.
  • If a site can only be navigated through Flash, people who can't see will not be able to find the Flash navigation menu
  • If a site can only be navigated through Flash, people with motor disabilities may not be able to move a mouse to a Flash menu and click it
  • Blind people use screen-readers to visit a site. A reader reads aloud the text on the page. Flash has no text, so the reader sees none of its content, and the blind visitor won't have access to that content.

Even though Flash 8 offers the function to make Flash accessible for disabled people, it still doesn't guarantee that every webmaster is going to update his Flash-content.

Flash will always be a problem for disabled web-users and it sure would be better, if every webmaster used Flash responsibly to make it easier for disabled users to use the web.

Flash sucks for Search Engines

  • Search engines only see the source code of a Website and Flash has no text. Thus, Search Engines will not return results for a site whose content is embedded in Flash.
  • Search engines only navigate through links defined in the source code, and Flash has no links of that type. So, search engines will not return results for a site whose inner pages can only be accessed through Flash.

Even though Google has a limited access to Flash within Websites, Flash-Objects themselves are code-wise not that well-structured like HTML-Documents.
This is a big issue, as Google can't find the context of Information stored in Flash within the HTML-Code.

Misused, Flash sucks for Browsers

If misused, Flash breaks our definition of using a Web-Browser.
Functions like going back and forth, copy and pasting and bookmarking won't work within Flash. This shows, that Flash is not only a problem for disabled users, but also in everyday use.