A Flash of non-brilliance

Written by Adrian Holovaty on June 26, 2002

Why was this USATODAY.com feature done in Flash?

I clicked through the feature several times, and I've determined Flash adds nothing to the presentation that couldn't be accomplished in JavaScript, or even normal HTML, other than the slow "fade-in" effect between subpages that, frankly, I don't want to wait for. The images are not animated, the text is not animated; what, then, is the point of rendering this graphic in an animation program?

There are only disadvantages. Flash hinders the content's accessibility: Anyone who uses a non-graphical browser isn't able to see any of this. We're lucky this isn't important information.

Note: I'm not sure whether this, the "USA TODAY Snapshots" graphic, is a daily feature on USATODAY.com, because I don't visit the site often. If it is, perhaps they take more advantage of the Flash format on some days and today was an exception. Still, that's no excuse for saying ignoring users who don't have access to Flash.

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