If you ask a few web designers today about how relevant Adobe Flash is within the current design world, most of them would say Flash is a relic. However, those seeking the expertise of web designers are still asking for Adobe Flash design abilities all the same. With the rise of Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, which don’t support Flash, and the increasing popularity of HTML5 and jQuery, Adobe’s prized animation software is loosing its grip within the digital design world. But is it rightfully so?

            Usually used to add an interactive component to a website through video and animation, Adobe Flash has been the go to digital design program when creating games and advertisements. The Adobe Flash Player is a very common tool used to display videos on websites. jQuery is a part of the JavaScript library and it was designed to make it easier to design animations and develop Ajax applications. It’s most popular use is to create plug-ins that allow for a higher level of interaction for the end user. HTML5, the fifth version of HTML, is a language used to create and publish information within a website but with enhanced language which includes <canvas>, <visual> and <video>. Some of HTML5’s features increase its usability on smart phones and electronic tablet devices.  Even though there are more design visibility options available to web designers and developers that allow them to create more interactive websites, the problem is which browser will support these innovations. They also have to consider which browser (and which version of that browser) is the end user most commonly using?

            With Flash being the veteran on the block, Adobe has had the ability to work out majority of the kinks within their interactive design software. Flash is most likely more secure than HTML5 and jQuery. Web browsers like Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox 2 don’t support HTML5 but they do support Flash and jQuery. Many web browser users don’t have the latest versions of IE and Firefox (which has an update every 30 days). Once IE supports HTML5, it will have more of a following. With Apple products mostly using Safari, HTML5 sites will have a comfy, supportive home with Apple hardware users.

            HTML5 seems to have given web designers the ability to incorporate video and animations without the use of Flash which has limited visibility within Apple products. However, HTML5 hits a wall when it comes to showing up in IE. With most web users still using older forms of IE which supports Flash, HTML5 seems to still be eating Flash’s dust in the relevancy department. jQuery successfully floats between most formats but is still nestled on websites that have more of an interactive design feel vs. strictly informative content. Flash seems to still be the go-to-guy when designing animations and embedding video content.

            B Culture Media is one of the few digital media agencies designing interactive Facebook fan pages with the versatility of Adobe Flash. Even though HTML5 is growing by leaps and bounds within the HTML language world, Flash is still the guru of interactive design. Flash adds a “WOW” factor to the otherwise flat visual structure of Facebook. The designers at B Culture Media realize that HTML5 and Flash are two different entities that are unfairly compared. HTML5 is an evolved language with the ability to embed interactive components (some designed in Flash) within it in order to provide a more swift, yet efficient experience for the end user. When faced with the question of what about Apple products not displaying Flash components, most designers are aware that Facebook will default those limited end users to the standard Facebook layout. HTML5 and Flash are both the best … in their respected arenas.

Written by Bianca M. Bailey at B Culture Media