Flash in the pan. (Flash is scrapped by Adobe).

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When Oxygen first started out in 2002, Flash was a popular web development tool. If we weren’t building sites with Dreamweaver it was Flash, or we were combining HTML and Flash to complement each other.

Flash enabled us to create a slick user experience, using animation and graphics to make messages more intuitive or compelling. It was also a way to display messages in a fairly small file format, perfect for those slow dial up connections of the 90s and noughties.

Web development using Flash

We used Flash up until about 9 years ago. Our last Flash project on the web was within the build of a sophisticated decision path on the selfbuildportal.org.uk that was launched at 10 Downing Street in 2012. We also used Flash for some simple games as well as ‘video’ style experiences on screensavers and presentations.

web development flash
We replaced a Flash version of a decision path with a PHP version

But Flash always had problems. Because a Flash animation came in a single file and didn’t enable web browsers or search engine robots to see any text, it was hopeless at getting websites ranked. It really was about the user experience, but if users couldn’t find it then it was ‘userless’.

While at its peak Flash was supported by 99% of browser technologies it never found favour with smartphones, especially when Steve Jobs said Apple would never support it, and Flash started an inevitable and rollercoaster decline in popularity.

Flash was also plagued with security issues, and a reluctance for the Adobe or web and game developers to support a dying technology.

Flash was created in 1996, but Adobe has now said that it will be scrapped. There will be no security updates, and all content will be blocked from Flash Player after 12 January 2021. However we understand a team is working to develop software that will play Flash content in a web browser.

Need your Flash replaced?

If you have assets created in Flash and need alternatives, then do let us know. There are some great ways to create similar effects, from HTML5 through to video/After Effects.