Who’s been warning of the demise of FLASH? Me and everyone else! It shouldn’t be a surprise that FLASH has fallen out of favor in designing websites. What is surprising is the reality of just how invisible a business website can be if it uses FLASH.
- We have to time travel back to 2008 when I wrote about FLASH as an invisibility cloak (see https://designtospec.com/flash-is-it-the-webs-invisibility-cloak/). The budding smart phone and tablet world didn’t include the ability to view FLASH so those website have never been able to be viewed on handheld devices.
- The first proverbial nail in the FLASH coffin was in November 2011 when Adobe announced on their blog (Wayback Machine link) there would NEVER be a FLASH player on phones.
- The next nail was this summer when Adobe announced they would stop making and distributing the FLASH player in 2020. What does this mean? Probably that newer computers won’t have access to a means of viewing FLASH. Computer geeks will probably be able to dig up an old version of the FLASH player but there won’t be any guarantee that it will be compliant with upgraded operating systems.
Why would someone wait until 2020 to convert their website from FLASH? There’s NO reason to wait. I read an article on CNN that states Google’s stats on the usage of FLASH. The percentage of computer users who use the FLASH player plugin to view website on their desktop/laptop computers is astonishing low. Google says it’s 17% (see https://money.cnn.com/2017/07/25/technology/adobe-killing-flash/index.html).
The numbers are very scary for FLASH website when you start playing with them. Mobile usage surpassed desktop usage a year or so ago. In 2016 BRG reported desktop use was at 48%. Google is used for 77% of searches which means 36 out of 100 desktop users are using Google. Then the 17% who download the FLASH player plugin looks like approximately 6 out of 100 users bother to download the plugin to view a FLASH website. OUCH!
I started removing FLASH from client websites in 2008. I continue to recommend getting out of FLASH website and into sites that use HTML and HTML5 to display content so your business website can be seen on the most computers and devices, and be seen by the most people.