Photography Marketing and Flash Websites

Lately I have been working on redesigning my studios blog and have been getting into some great discussions with people on facebook and twitter about flash. Flash (the technology not the light source) is a pretty hot topic right now and with the war between Apple and Adobe both publicly fighting over flash its spurred some pretty intense debate. Some people will say flash is still king and will remain while others think that its time has come and its on the way out. But what started out with just some questions about flash vs. no flash really got me to think about my clients experience. I often don’t look at my own website as much as I should and don’t think through the navigation and experience from the clients end. So I first stepped back and tried to look at my website through a clients viewpoint on an iPhone and iPad. In spending some time going through my blog with a fresh set of eyes I learned a few things.

  • Flash is dead
  • Mobile is small, but growing and can’t be ignored
  • My reasons for these statements is pretty simple. Viewing my existing blog in my iPhone or iPad really sucks. The nice rotating flash banner near the top is a huge empty white space. The embedded videos that work fine on any browser don’t show at all. It’s terrible and honestly in a visual industry not acceptable for me to be showing this to my clients. Some may say shame on Apple they need to allow flash, but the fact of the matter is they don’t and probably won’t budge on this. So if you are going to focus on having the best presentation for all of your clients, flash is dead. People will not be able to ignore mobile browsing and the iPad as it continues to grow and I think flash will slowly start to fade away. Here is a screenshot of my existing blog when viewed on my iPad, ugly, ugly, ugly white space.

    That experience is only for people browsing with an iPad or iPhone which you would think is a pretty small amount. But looking at the numbers the amount of people browsing with these devices is growing quick. For me right now its about 8% and growing steadily. Do you really want to ignore 8% of your clients and potential clients and serve them with a substandard experience? No way. Now after going through the data I am fired up to revamp my blog and next up our main site. I should have a brand new blog up and running in hopefully another week using zero flash. Next up is my main studio website which is 100% flash now and top priority on my list of things to do.

    It’s something we should all think about with our marketing, who is your Client and what is their experience? Using tools like Google analytics can be a great way to see some of the browsing patterns of your clients and sometimes taking a deeper look at your website or having friends view it and give you feedback can be crucial.

    Also for all of you iPad users out there I have some cool changes coming to this website just for you. Stay tuned over the next few days!

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    Author: Mark

    Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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    5 Comments

    1. I had been thinking about doing some flash on my website (it has never had any flash), I thought it might be more appealing because I see a lot of other photographers using it, and personally it looks great! Howerver, now that you mention the iphone, and the ipad I guess I’m glad I dont have any… I think I’ll keep it that way!

    2. I would like to make one thing clear. Flash is NOT dead. Yes we do have HTML5 and we do have Javascript etc, but just because Apple is incompetent when it comes to handling flash, it does not mean people are going to stop using it.

      If you really are bothered about people freaking out over flash not being displayed on their Apple products, then you was a website owner should make sure to handle the design based on the user agent, and still display flash content on products that can handle it.

      Having a better user experience is not about budging towards one standard approach where you ignore a great component (in this case flash content) because of some company acting like a 5 year old. It is about being able to serve your visitors with a great experience with the browsers/devices that they have.

    3. Thanks for the comment! I have to say I agree with part of your statement, it’s about being able to serve your visitors with a great experience. I want to serve 100% of them with animations and other effects that aren’t flash based so everyone visiting my site on any platform can view it and get the best experience.

    4. Well thats where HTML5 comes into the picture to make peace. All the best with your website.

    5. An intelligent answer – no BS – which makes a paelsnat change

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