Flash Website Design

Written by Charles Peacock
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Regardless of how knowledgeable you are with web design, you've probably heard somebody talking about "Flash" at one point or another. Flash refers to a program designed by Macromedia that allows you to easily create animated elements on your website. Flash is incredibly quick, easy and malleable, and can really transform your boring website into something people will want to look at.

What Can Flash Do for Your Website?

For a while, it seemed like everybody's website had an intro cartoon. Almost all of these were designed with Flash, and almost all of them were basically pointless. It was kind of the cool thing to do at the moment, but luckily most web designers have moved on and now use Flash design for more functional purposes.

The great thing about Flash is that it can add an exciting organic feel to a normally drab website--without really changing much at all. For example, building your menus with Flash gives you the ability to animate them and add moving images without taking up much bandwidth at all. Flash is also a great way to bring sound to your website, but it's important to remember that bombarding your customers with a loud song can be very irritating and distracting.

The chief rule of Flash design is to restrain yourself from doing things just because they seem "cool" at the time. People don't want to be entertained when they go to your website (unless you're in the entertainment business of course)--they want to learn about your business and what you can do for them. It's important to use Flash as a tool to communicate with your customers more effectively, not simply as a means to make your website more flashy (no pun intended).

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