Flash vs. html: what does the average surfer want?

ive heard that surveys suggest that the average person “surfing” the internet would rather search through a simple, easy-to-use html website instead of a flash based one with animations and apparently confusing menu systems.

i just wondered what the general opinion on this subject was here. everyone here is going to prefer the flash websites for obvious reasons, but do you think that the above statement is true?

also, i cant help thinking that designing a site in html is far more limited - whereas it seems at the moment that flash is limitLESS…

perhaps someone could give me a link to a really well designed html based site that would convince me otherwise…?


well, my personal opinion is that the audience in general prefer a nice clean easy to navigate HTML site (which load faster). But I disagree with u about an HTML site being limited, I think flash is much more limited, but again, both have pros and cons

Well If your going for… to impress people… use flash.,…

If you want to inform people…educate them… with a large Database of info… use html…(or a dinamic language)


Flash should only be used when its needed (or to be imperiously impressive - most suitably for design firms).

Well from the marketing perspective, HTML will get better response as far as business goes. The internet is a fast place, so are business people and they do not want to stick around waiting for a flash movie to preload. Also, making a a site that has a huge database, it is better to go with a HTML site, maybe with some flash elements rather than a full flash site.

Just like everyone says, if you want to impress, go with the full flash site.

I’d only use HTML if the viewer neeed important information and research. I’d use flash and html together if I was making a company site or some site for someone that needed an attractive look.

www.mariobelem.com is the only one I can think of rigth now that’s a good HTML site.

what about www.nike.com its kinda pro kinda fun.

HTML can be used to impress too, not only flash, Ive seen some pretty impressive HTML sites

WOW! Thats some impressive artwork!!!:thumb:


It’s not very limiting in my opinion. I have more limitations with flash than I do with html, but that would be because I am much more comfortable with html than AS.

idk with stuff like dreamwevear aroud i think they are about equal with html a lil ahead because anyone can veiw it no matter how crappy their pc is

Definitely HTML.

A huge reason a lot of people left out was accessability which is becoming more and more important every day.

I prefer HTML over Flash also for the reasons sen and 28 mentioned :evil:

HTML or a mix of the two (flash elements on a primarily HTML layout). Remember when people used to offer you both when you went somewhere (this is a bad idea, so don’t bring it back)? I always chose the HTML version and I still do when given the choice.

My stuff is usually a mix unless its an application.

The only gripe I have with Flash is the absence of a native back button.

Plus some of the flash ads are getting really annoying.


Flash can do anything html can, and sometimes more (no page reloads when data changes, new “data change listener” feature in MX 04 Pro which gets only the changed parts, so less bandwidth; stream audio & video in one single interface etc…) is is better for cross-browser display than html (IE vs NS vs Firefox, Mac vs PC etc), most FX you can achieve with DHTML are easier to code in Flash; preloading is not requiered if the site is designed well (shell getting 1st bits to display while the other stuff downloads in the background) so not really an argument; database integration is as good as with html; major disadvantage is still search engine indexing/ranking of your content.
As most pple here, I’d say: html to inform/ larger text-based informative sites; Flash for no-reload, same page apps and “different” user interfaces. Anyone wants to build an RSS reader in (D)HTML? Here’s one in Flash: http://www.flasheyez.com/blogs/index.html
Problem is to get the swf published to v7 player to take advantage of all the new features (including accessibility!), as market penetration is not high enough yet ( http://www.macromedia.com/software/player_census/flashplayer/version_penetration.html ), all depends on the target audience/ clients spec’s etc
You can also get the best of both worlds either by mixing the two or making your site Flash & HTML and let the user select, getting the content from the same database…

I see how accessibility is important, but I don’t think that it is becoming more important to think about that when you are comparing flash and html. No one is going to lose the ability to see flash with their computer, so I’d say its becoming less important when just looking at those two examples of web tech’s. It was more likely that a computer didn’t have flash a few years ago, and the number of people with support for flash is going up, not down. Accessiblilty in regards to flash or no flash is not more of a concern now. I don’t see how you were thinking that.

i agree w/krilnon in that at this point, most users can view flash. so viewing capability isn’t the real issue. i think the issue is how much content is on the site.

i prefer html sites with a reasonable amt of content for 2 main reasons:

  1. flash site navigation is often difficult/confusing
  2. resizing a window in html lets you read a lot of text easily, but resizing a window in a flash site does not change the flash stage size (imagine looking at these forums in a flash file that doesn’t resize).

most viewers can view flash, but not all, that´s the problem, in my country most of the people have crappy connections so its better to design html sites that load fast, flash sites are not too common in here, but still, like someone said, is growing up, I think it depends of the client neccesities and your skills :slight_smile:

I like html sites with little flash bits.