Although I dont go trawling the web with flash turned off. My understanding is that Flash (at least player 6) has (at a low estimate) penetrated at least 90% of the web browser market. Having worked in a few web studios – I’ve been through a fair few flash discussions;
- From ‘FLASH’ AHH! he’ll save everyone of us!!!
My approach when considering how to design a site is to first look at the clients needs. In some cases this may be a full 100% flash site. If this is so then for accessibility and search engines I would also build a series of simple flat (valid) xHTML pages that follow the structure and content of the flash site. The site should work in this form and not simply be content spewed out into an html page
In many cases this is easy, since I have my own cms running behind the flash site, which I can feed to some simple templates and then style up a little.
However on every page there is always (emphasized at the top) – a link to switch to the flash version. Any extra time in doing this is factored into the cost and in the end is the price you pay for a full flash site. It’s a belief — and a challenge- of mine that designers and developers should seek out ways to use Flash intelligently for the purpose that it was intended, whenever appropriate. It’s a great technology to use, but, like most good things, moderation is key.
All that said you can do some great things with it;
For all flash detection I use UFO
Its simple to use and great for simple flash movies inside an xHTML page – or even full browser 100% flash sites
(theres even a helper for Ruby)
Of course, being a Flash Developer I am of course totally biased and you should not believe anything I say.