Will Adobe Bring Flash Back to Life?

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Considering the latest buzz generated by Adobe, this question can instigate interesting discussions. The topic of Flash is not new on our blog; we wrote about it in some older posts: Apple’s dismissal of Flash statement and HTML5 battle with Flash. However, many of you may be asking, has anything changed since then? Adobe has continued to take a leading role and work hard to embrace HTML5.

While HTML5 and Flash have been in the news with the launch of the iPad®, Apple has long argued that that Flash is not only unreliable and not secure, but it has low-performance, drains battery life, and does not keep up with web development progress.

However, according to Adobe, 85% of the most-visited web sites use Flash, 75% of web video is viewed using the Flash Player, 98% of enterprises rely on the Flash Player, and 70% of web games are developed in Flash. Moreover, in 2010, Flash has released version 10.1 as an answer to Apple’s HTML5 for hand held devices.

While Apple has been promoting HTML5 as an alternative to Flash for video and other content on the iOS, using performance-related rationale for not allowing the Flash runtime to be installed on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, Adobe has been consistently challenged to keep up:

  • Adobe released its own HTML5 video player toward the end of 2010.
  • The new versions of Adobe Illustrator and Dreamweaver CS5 already contain a number of HTML5 export tools
  • Adobe is turning its HTML5 attention to Flash with the release of Wallaby, a new Flash-to-HTML5 converter. Wallaby is an application from Adobe Labs which takes a FLA file and breaks it down into components and attempts to replicate its functionality in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, allowing developers to reuse and extend the reach of their content to devices that do not support the Flash runtimes.

Even with this latest news, Adobe admits that not all Flash Professional features are supported in the HTML5 format.

Many of us would like to know ultimately what direction Flash and HTML5 are going, but for the moment, it is clear that Flash is not going away anytime soon. Developers will always need choices and look for better or complementary technologies. And it isn’t about which to use specifically, but rather which works best for a particular website. And it could be Flash, Silverlight or Java.

It is not certain that HTML5 will be the answer everyone is looking for when developing a website, but it is clear that HTML5 is a state of the art web development technology. At CodeMyIMAGE, we have already embraced new technologies like HTML5 and we believe it is bringing new functionalities and directions in web development.

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More Resources on ADA Compliant Websites

ADA compliance

We noticed your increased interest for the ADA compliance topic so we thought we should provide you more resources:

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Why Should Your Website be ADA Compliant

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The ADA was signed into law in 1990 and it prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. According to the United States Justice Department, the ADA also applies to cyberspace and states that organizations that use the internet for communications regarding their programs, products, or services, must be prepared to support equal information access for the disabled.  Actually, the concept of expanding opportunities for disabled individuals through the innovative use of technology is well-known these days. However, the question is how well does the web comply with this concept?

When users with a disability are attempting to access a website, they are entitled to access information like any other individual. However, it seems that websites in general, lack the awareness inherent in this requirement to design and develop in order to meet the needs of the disabled. The problem is not whether the users are simply provided access, but rather to what extent the communication is indeed delivered as effectively as it is to the general public.

Once on the web, users with disabilities may encounter certain obstacles, not being able to receive or fully understand the information provided by websites. How does your website accommodate these users? Your web development efforts can be enhanced to reach out to the disabled users by:

  • Providing informative text equivalents for graphics
  • Providing text summaries of graphs and charts
  • Ensuring that all information presented in color is also available without color
  • Audio files are accompanied with an accessible text-based transcript
  • Video presentations are accompanied with synchronized text transcript

Having followed these tips, how does one further determine if a website is accessible to disabled surfers? One of the easiest ways is to analyze it with an accessibility validator such as the free web-based tool developed by the Center for Adapted Technology (CAST).

At CodeMyIMAGE, we believe that website content must be easy and accessible to anyone, so that users with various types of disabilities should be accommodated in the world of the web. Our experience in this area includes the development of ADA compliant websites, and we strongly encourage that more private and public companies and NGO’s start to give greater importance to supporting equal information access.

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More Tips for Building User Friendly Websites

usability tips

In our latest article, we shared some tips for user friendly websites. Now, we would like to bring you some more resources from industry specialists discussing the usability matter:

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5 Essential Steps to a User Friendly Website

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Usability must be one of the primary goals inherent in every website in order to consistently drive traffic.  Without easy navigation or an intuitive interface, one risks having your message overlooked by users. Today’s web experience has set new expectations regarding information accessibility and speed.

Website usability is a topic that we have previously debated in our blog posts, and one which we want to elaborate with further tips and best practices.

1. Make your visitors come back to your website. Your main purpose is to deliver a positive experience to your users and to engage them to take further actions on your website like subscribing to your blog, purchasing a product, or asking for a price quote. How do you create the lasting impression which results in sustaining users to return to your site time and again? You need to think like the future users of your website when you develop it – make sure navigation is easy, strategic information is accessible, pages do not take long to load, and the user has control over their browsing experience.

2. Keep it simple. This should be a golden rule for both web design and for content structure. Improve your website’s readability by employing minimal graphics and consistent fonts throughout your web pages. Spacing is essential for your website and for capturing user attention, so make sure you arrange your website strategically. Allocate space to content, but keep it short. Imagine your users are reading their morning newspaper!

3. Keep it consistent. Visitors are coming to your website for a reason and they will be frustrated when you fall short of the hope of delivering relevant content. Whether they come to find essential information on your business services or to read articles on a specific subject, your website needs to effectively provide sufficient information to meet your visitors’ expectations.

4. Check for errors regularly. Make sure your HTML code is designed to display correctly in all browser versions. Check your site regularly for any broken links. Also ensure that your site hosting provider is reliable in order to avoid site downtime.

5. Know your users. This will help you create an intuitive website by anticipating what your users’ interests are as well as their online actions and behaviors. It will also help you in your challenge to create a customized message and a unique approach that is appealing to your users.

At CodeMyIMAGE, we believe that the simple, relevant content and the navigation experience of your visitors are essential to making your website appropriate for your business and noticeable in the online environment. Keep these five usability tips in mind for your designs and you will be sure to provide a very efficient, intuitive user experience.

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