Nathan Russell

Nathan Russell

Flash based site lost a customer

April 23, 2011, by admin, category Progressive Enhancement

From personal experience, here is an example of how not thinking about browser capabilities can lose you business.

Whilst on holiday last week we decided we wanted to go to the island’s water park. The water park was at the other side of the island and would involve some travel to get to it. As we were holidaying at the start of the season and had already seen some things not fully open yet, we needed to find out some basic information. We needed to know if the park was open at all, and if so its opening hours and admission prices.

No problem, we live in a connected world. We had our trusty mobile browsers (an iPhone and an iPad in our case) and there is plenty of free wifi.

A quick google later we find the water park’s website and … oh dear, whats this? We get a page (in Spanish!) telling us that we need Flash to use the site. Well, that’s no good is it?

There was no link offering us any alternate content. Plain and simple, iOS devices are excluded from the site.

Of course, the iOS Flash battle is a different argument which has plenty of coverage elsewhere so I won’t go into it here, suffice to say that as web professionals we all know of the issue and should design and code accordingly.

I’m not saying Flash is a bad thing. Flash certainly has it’s place, and for site’s whose main UI is Flash based we should also write html pages for devices that don’t support the technology, even if it’s only for the bare minimum of content such as contact details and opening times etc.

In our case, we decided not to take the risk of traveling to the park to potentially find it not open. They lost out on our business purely because their website was not accessible.

So, what do you think ?