With the rapid rise of mobile devices as an increasingly common alternative means of accessing content on the web, the continued use of Flash-based site content poses a growing problem for webmasters. In the not-too-distant past, site designers really had no choice when building interactive site content: if an image or element needed any form of interactive animation, it invariably had to be created and displayed using Flash.
Flash has for long been synonymous with website animation, and until just a few years ago, very few web designers would have thought twice about using it liberally: entire websites were – and still are – conceived using Flash. The domination of Flash on the web for creating animated content for websites became second nature for most web designers, and almost every browser that shipped on any computer came with a Flash plugin installed by default.
Unfortunately, the use of Flash technology for integrating site content comes at a price: it’s resource-intensive, and is a non-standard (proprietary) technology. This only really affected a small minority of Internet users, whose choice of OS meant having to make do with a buggy or under-optimized Flash plugin, or none at all.
But these days, things are changing at a pretty rapid pace, and relying on Flash content to make a website means the growing legions of mobile web users accessing the Internet without a Flash-equipped browser just can’t view that content at all. Seemingly simple things like Flash slideshows, while a widespread and integral part of website, just don’t work for iPhone and iPad users, among others.
In the “real world” (aka on actual websites), web designers are proving time and again that this theory is well founded. They’re increasingly looking towards universally accessible content to ensure their sites render – and function – the same way, from device to device, and from browser to browser.
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