Jacob The Purist
In October of 2005, "Usability Guru" Jacob Nielson updated useit.com with The Top Ten Web Mistakes of 2005. In it, he has this to say about the use of Flash:
"Flash should not be used to jazz up a page. If your content is boring, rewrite text to make it more compelling and hire a professional photographer to shoot better photos. Don't make your pages move. It doesn't increase users' attention, it drives them away; most people equate animated content with useless content. Using Flash for navigation is almost as bad. People prefer predictable navigation and static menus."
Clearly Mr. Nielson is widely respected for his views, but I take issue with this one. In recent years, there has been so much intelligent use of Flash that is reflective of the maturation of the medium. Here's an example of Flash navigation that contradicts the generalized statement that Flash for navigation is bad.
Sure, Jacob has a valid point that Flash can be misused—and there are certainly examples of that to back up the claim, however as we move into Web 2.0—Flash, Ajax, Flex and other technologies are increasingly being used in intelligent and compelling ways. Not sure what sites Jacob has been looking at these days—but he needs to dig a little deeper.