Web sites can now offer animation that nearly rivals film or video. This does not mean that every web site can benefit from this option. Most cannot.

It is tempting to think "let's just have a little animation or flash to spice things up". The truth is that in most cases unless the idea is best communicated in animated form - animation should be avoided.

On the other hand some sites can get a huge benefit from highly intentional use of animation or Flash.

What is Flash & Shockwave?

'Flash' is an animation technology offered by Macromedia. 'Shockwave' is a related technology.

Not all animations on the web use these technologies. There is the simple animated .GIF file and scores of other less used technologies including various video formats.

Sound

Sound is like animation in that it's use should be carefully considered. No benefit can come from adding it without a real purpose in mind. On the other hand when it is carefully applied sound can be quite powerful.

Successful Animation

If the costs of creating successful animation are not out of reach or a limited application is really useful - then animation & or Flash can be quite powerful.

In some cases whole sites can be built successfully in a Flash or Shockwave format.

Sites that benefit from this treatment are often geared towards younger users & are used to promote lifestyle products or services.