To Flash or not to Flash..

That is the question… I have been running with the idea of using full flash for a portfolio design but wanted to know everyone elses opinion.

I know 100% flash sites can be a bit much and too “flashy” ( no pun intended) but if it is done right I think it would have much more potential than say a regular site with just HTML and Java.

I have also thought about how many people are actually able to read and see flash and was wondering how big of an impact an all flash site would have and how much it could possibly hinder me from displaying my portfolio.

your thoughts?


You basically answered your own question.

Flash sites (especially by students who might have only been using the software for a month) can often be fairly horrendous - navigation bars that float around in circles, graphics that aren’t properly scaled and wind up pixelated or overcompressed, inability to use the back button to go to a previous page, etc.

I certainly think flash has plenty of GOOD uses, my portfolio site is primarily static HTML but uses some Flash for scrolling through sketches. Some parts still aren’t entirely intuitive but thats also the nature of needing to get a site up for a job interview in 5 days. I got the job so I guess I shouldn’t question myself too much. :wink:

My advice would be to assess your skills (in Flash, Photoshop, HTML), figure out what behavior you want your site to have, and determine whether a full flash/partial flash/no flash site is for you.

Most industrial designers should stick to doing industrial design.

Don’t dilute your work with an over-designed portfolio.

even if you are a flash design god, i’d stay away from it for a portfolio site. you cant directly link to pages, download/drag-drop images, etc, and there really is no reason you cant present your portfolio in a simple HTML or CSS format.

flash can be done well, but as mentioned can (and often does) go horribly wrong.


All good advice.

Remember if you do use flash it should ENHANCE the site, not BE the site.

Your portfolio is about your qualifications as an industrial designer, not as a web designer (unless you happen to be applying for web design positons - then it’s a different story)

This has been one of my favorite book titles in the last several years. Granted I’ve never read the book, but the title of it and its intended purpose speaks volumes about how many people feel about Flash sites.

Skip Intro: Flash Usability and Interface Design

Just think of how many sites you see where you blow right past the Flash Intro, or just want to find something quickly. I think the same could be said for a portfolio site.