Flash is frustrating. Lately, I have been noticing that more mainstream sites are using Flash. The problem is, they aren't doing it very well.

People creating these sites have to realize that this is much more about information design than about a snappy graphic and some cool sounds. A good example of this problem is The Metro's site. They have a new "high bandwidth" version that assaults the senses with cool graphics and kickin' tunes. Your average punk kid will think, cool. Then they'll try and figure out who is playing, only to turn to the "tours" site and find they can't scroll down at a reasonable speed and can't scroll up at all. No good. If that isn't bad enough, there is a "nifty" sound effect everytime you click on the down button. No good. It is just atrocious. The kicker is the little ditty that continues playing throughout your visit. Unless the music is integral to the site, avoid it. You can leave me an option to turn the music on but don't make me listen to the crap you've chosen.

All I want is to find the information I need as quickly as possible. Is that too much to ask?

Don't get me wrong though, sound effects and information design in flash can be done well. The promotional site for the Nintendo Gamecube is a great example. It is fun and the noises aren't obtrusive. Another good example is French Kiss Records. When you click on one of the main links a man speaking french tells you where you're going. Well done. Also, the flash is used to create intuitive site organization, not a spectacle of sight and sound.

Remember, you have to seperate flash as an medium for art and as a business tool. There's more in me for this treatise but I'll end here. Maybe I'll write an essay of some sort. Hmm.