No Flash


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No Flash

Prelude

I’ve recently reinstalled the OS and all software on my MacBook Air. This time I’m going to really try and not install Flash Player. Last time I did this, I eventually folded and installed it, even after trying ClickToFlash.

It was simply easier to have Flash Player installed and not deal with clicking all over the place. Indeed, my new setup has me manually loading any flash pages into Google Chrome which is even less easy (Chrome has a built-in Flash Player of its own).

Which brings me to my first annoyance of my new system; the above dialogue window on domain.com.au. See anything wrong?

Here’s what’s wrong

Firstly, it’s a window, not a HTML/Javascript dialogue. This means I absolutely need to click ‘ok’ or hit my return/enter ket to get rid of it.

Secondly, the webpage in question — domain.com.au — still works without Flash Player. I can still see everything I want to, except, most likely, the ads. I don’t want to see the ads[1. Also check out the excellent Safari Adblock extension, and the Chrome version if that’s your thing.] This means the ‘Error’ in the message is not an error at all.

Thirdly, there is no way for me to dismiss this dialogue window for future searching. If you read the message, it’s telling me Flash doesn’t appear to be supported by my browser. Well, thanks. I already new that. In fact, I removed the option to view Flash content by choice, so I don’t need to be told.

But, but…

But what if I wasn’t a web nerd? If I was on a PC I’d likely have Flash Player installed already. On a Mac Flash Player doesn’t come pre-installed, but I would have likely installed it already after seeing an error message/failure to view Flash on another site.

But what if I just bought my Mac and domain.com.au was the first website I visited? In this scenario, I’d be happy to just click the helpful link which points me directly to the Flash Player downlo… oh, wait.

This window appears not when you first visit the site, but when you click through to view details on a property. This happens several to many times in a single session. You do a search for a property in, say, inner Melbourne. The results pages show you hundreds of potential properties of which you’ll likely click through 10 or 20. If that is the scenario, you’d be dismissing the dialogue window 10 or 20 times.

This is not ideal. But it’s the jobs of people like me or Fox to point these things out in the hope that we further the knowledge of good design to the people (and the designers).

And before you ask, yes, I contacted domain.com.au’s technical people about this (and asked for a reply). I’ll post if I hear back.

(The custom Safari icon is from David Lanham’s excellent Flurry icon set/s.)