Texas A&M University (David Morris)



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    The Curse of Flash Websites and Architecture Firms

    By David Morris
    Sep 12, '06 3:57 PM EST

    I was reading the Archinect weekly email, and when I read this post, I couldn't help but write a little something about it:

    Palace of Peace and Reconciliation opens in Kasakhstan (Sep 08, 06 | 9:29
    am) Photos of the actual building in Foster and partners website, go to News and then click into the relevant item (I can't link directly due to their flash

    Why do architects insist on having their websites done in Flash? Flash is the epitome of inaccessibility, and as a result, most architects are poorly represented on the web to say the least. A firm like Norman Foster's probably pays a lot of money for their web page creation and upkeep, and it's obvious that this flash website has a database driven backend. But why do they insist on serving up the content in Flash? Most of the features people use when making flash webpages can be done in the browser with javascript nowadays. And the other features are just not necessary. If someone tries to argue that it's easier to keep images from being saved, then why isn't wikipedia output in flash? They seem to know what they're doing. And everyone has a print screen button somewhere, even on a mac.

    Take a look at Lightbox JS 2.0 for a great example of what can be done without flash. Anyways, I'm making a website for my office right now, and I had a really interesting discussion about this with my boss and another guy who works there. It's really time for architecture firms to step up and learn a little more about communication in the 21st century, web2.0, web3.0, and so on.

    How many architects are on Wikipedia? Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Enric Miralles, etc... There ought to be a lot more names on there, and they ought to be easier to find. One of the best architecture firm webpages I've seen in a long time is from the office of Jordi Badia. The layout is extremely clean (even though they used a bunch of tables everywhere, i'll forgive them this one time), and it's easy to read and understand. They hired a company in Barcelona to do it for them. I wonder how many firms do their sites in-house...

    Anyways, I think I've ranted enough about this subject. I'd like to start a discussion about this, but I'll see if anyone responds to this post first.


    • flash is to architecture what EPO is to cycling.
      the cool kids do it.

      Sep 12, 06 7:48 pm

      I've been ranting about architecture's idiotic flash-fetish for a quite a while now.

      it mostly falls on deaf ears.

      "oooh, blinky....whoa...the text around, man..."

      Sep 12, 06 11:37 pm

      i believe that when the design of the flash site comes directly from the firm, the website can reflect their design principles and compliment the portfolio
      however when a flash site is designed under the parameters of the webdesigner... the connection is lost

      Sep 13, 06 12:56 am

      the problem isn't the tool it's the people who use it.

      Sep 13, 06 1:10 am

      If you think there should be more content on Wikipedia, feel free to add it yourself. That's the point. The architecture articles are pretty lean, but they're getting a lot better. Linguistics and maths seem to have the best editors. I work on classical music articles mostly; for some reason I'm wary of writing anything architectural just yet, though I suppose it would be a worthwhile experience.

      Sep 13, 06 3:42 am
      David Morris

      yeah i understand. i am starting to add wiki articles as of last week. i am also trying to become an editor for the google directory in spanish architecture, but i never hear anything back from those people when i apply for stuff like that..

      mespellwrong -> how is it the users and not the tool? i don't understand what you mean.

      Sep 13, 06 7:35 am

      when I was learning web design and programming we were always told to make flash and non-flash versions. I still do that to this day...
      The most annoying is when you want to go back to something and the flash movie replays from the beginning. AHHHH!!!!

      Sep 13, 06 9:44 am
      David Morris

      flash just isn't necessary for much these days. if the content of the site is organized and stored properly, it should be just as easy to serve it up in flash as html, but it's really a waste to do it in flash.

      Sep 13, 06 10:56 am

      There's another problem with Flash websites. It is very difficult to optimize Flash sites for the Search Engines, so if your firm is looking for good rankings you should be aware. Having a Flash and HTML version might be an option, but an expensive and time-consuming alternative. Not only do you have to build 2 sites, you have to maintain 2 sites.

      Sep 13, 06 12:43 pm

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