Apple recently announced that the iPad will not support Flash. Luckily, we are reaching a point where modern web technologies will overlap Flash?s unique functionality. Soon enough, in a few short years, flash will be replaced by HTML5, CSS, and Javascript. In the meantime, what's an interactive designer to do?

There are many ways today that we can use CSS and Javascript to deliver interactive functionality and design patterns. And better yet, there are new emerging technologies that allows us to present an even more polished version of the web without having to use Flash.

Here's what's in my emerging technology toolkit that looks beyond flash (and the evil page refresh):
  1. Dynamic Dropdowns - these are so prevalent on the web that we almost forget they are via nifty Javascript calls
  2. FX Effects (scroll, slide, morph) - got to love all this fantastic, dynamic functionality
  3. Ajax Accordions - these are super helpful for tucking in content and not overwhelming the users with too much information
  4. Sliders - enables us to build application-like interfaces
  5. Ajax Pop-In Modal Overlay - allows us to present additional information without refreshing the browser in a very traditional application-like way
  6. DHTML Pop-Up Window - helpful for creating elegant mouseovers. Netflix was the first place I saw this and loved it. We just need to be careful to not cram TOO much into in these bits.
  7. Mouseover Image Zoom - a nifty and popular tool for enlarging an image without a page refresh
  8. Interactive Tabs - again, super for toggling and displaying multiple pages without needed a page refresh to display the new page
  9. Expandable Nav Tree - hierarchical menu nodes where branch nodes can be expanded or collapsed
  10. Typekit.com - breaking out of the browser safe mac/pc fonts sounds liberating. FULL DISCLOSURE: haven't actually done this yet, but it's on my list
I must confess, i'm not a big flash "tool hugger". I've spent many jobs rescuing sites out of flash because once the site was launched, they found out it was impossible to manage and update the site. My thought is, maybe flash designers need to not only design the sites... but then spend the next 2 weeks inputting the content into the site that they've built. Wonder if they would think twice before designing a site in flash again. Hmmm.




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