Flash Woes

Bear with me while I engage in a controlled rant.

One of the more trying aspects of shopping this past holiday season was that, for one reason or another, I had to do most of it via the web. That’s not a problem, I shop a lot on the web anyway. But I kept being thwarted by sites that didn’t like Safari, and in each case, a quick look at the source revealed why: the site developers were targetting Internet Explorer, and Windows, exclusively, down to coding for bugs in I.E.

The other Really Annoying Web Experience has to do with commerce sites built using Flash. Now, I don’t hate Flash, I like Flash, really I do, both the silly sorts of Flash sites, and the appropriate uses of Flash to build attractive interactive, even instructional sites, or to make report layouts built from a database attractive and naviagable. But sites like this and this, that use Flash to reproduce a printed catalog are both annoying and stupid. At the opposite extreme are easy to use, well-organized user-centric online stores like Amazon, and Lands End.