ESPN's World Series 100th Anniversary site is a classic example of unnecessary Flash usage. The site is almost entirely done in Flash, while every important piece of it could be done -- and done better -- in plain HTML.
- Pages are either faded or slid onto the screen. This might impress the one Internet user who has never seen Flash animations. For everyone else, it's an annoying delay -- particularly after spending more than two minutes on the site. These gratuitous animations (the Flash equivalent of Tufte's "chartjunk") were novel in 1998. Now they're trite and make browsing tedious.
- The text is not copy-and-pastable.
- A Web browser's Back and Forward buttons don't work within the site.
- None of the pages are individually bookmarkable; they do not appear to have distinct URLs.
- The contents of these pages cannot be indexed by search engines.
For me to make these same, tired Flash criticisms is trite in itself, but it's clear such criticisms aren't being heard. ESPN should know better.