5 Interactive Elements that Don’t Need Flash (But Used To)

Because of weak Flash support on mobile devices, many web developers are using JavaScript and HTML5 to accomplish similar functions that up until a few years ago could only be done with Flash. That being said, Flash and JavaScript have many pros and cons with their use on the Web.

Most know the pros of Flash: its 3D capabilities, its consistent display across browser platforms, its support of vector artwork, it has more font options, and it comes with a built in user interface. Flash still has advanced video and interactive features that are unmatched by current Web standards.

Flash also has plenty of drawbacks. It’s a memory hog and it’s not widely supported by mobile phone browsers (especially iPhones and iPads) largely because of the resources it requires. Now, many Web developers are shying away from Flash and accomplishing some amazing feats using JavaScript instead.

So if you’ve decided that Flash is not the way to go for the interactive components that your website needs, here are some other options:

1. Image Sliders

For simple image sliders, JavaScript works great, whereas using Flash is probably overkill. Check out this example:

2. Video and Audio

HTML5 will one day change the way video and audio are delivered on the Web. Today, new standards are replacing Flash as the default protocol for delivering video and audio, especially for mobile devices.

3. Animations

Canvas, an element packaged with HTML5, will allow developers to create rich animations that, in the past, could only be accomplished using Flash.

4. Charts and Graphs

JQuery, a popular JavaScript library, offers many options for delivering visual charts and graphs without using Flash. Here are some quick examples:

5. Interactive Maps

The Web has changed the way we get directions and most maps are now created using technologies other than Flash. JavaScript is the natural choice. It makes updating maps easy and the content is search engine friendly. Plus, maps are most useful when you’re on the go and most mobile devices support JavaScript.

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About the Author

Kyle Greenan is TradeMark Media's designer. He uses his background in graphic design to lay out and design Web-focused graphics with the client's ideals in mind. He also handles most of TradeMark's site maintenance requests.

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