eLearning and Localization Blog

What to Consider When Replacing Your Flash Content with HTML5

Published on Oct 17, 2017

Adobe Flash has been one of the most widely used technologies to make interactive web experiences. In fact, during the height of its adoption in 2011, roughly half of all websites had at least one Flash element. However, due to a number of reasons (including no longer being supported by Adobe), its popularity has significantly dropped and as of October 2017, that percentage has dipped below 5%.

You might be part of that five percent that is still using Flash. Or you might be part of that 45% that used to have Flash content but has decided to retire it. In either case, if you want to replace your Flash content with HTML5, there are some considerations you should take into account.

Is Your Flash Content Even Worth Replacing?

When considering replacing your Flash content, first ask yourself if the content is still relevant. Often it may be several years old and not aligned with current or future business needs.The content and style might be outdated. In other words, is your Flash content fulfilling its purpose? If it’s not worth replacing, then you should not spend any more time or effort doing anything with it.

Is Your Flash Content Easy to Convert?

The easiest type of flash content to convert is basic animation. Most of the animation (timelines, tweens, etc.) and graphic assets can be easily converted into an HTML5 format. Note that there are some effects and options that cannot be converted, such as certain text effects and filters. Interactions, which have been coded using Flash’s ActionScripting, can be re-created in HTML5 using JavaScript. This is possible since both languages are based on the ECMAScript language. So if you have a banner ad, infographic, simulation, game, or basic interactive module, most of your content can be relatively easily converted into HTML5 format.

Is Your Flash Content Complex?

If your Flash content is complex, it may not be suitable for converting into HTML5. For example, if your content uses streaming video protocols and APIs to connect to various web services, this architecture may not function well outside of a Flash environment.  This is because many third-party web services have created their protocols specifically for Flash.

What If My Flash Content Can’t Be Converted?

If your Flash content can’t be converted, this does not mean that you have to abandon it; instead, you will start building your content from scratch in an HTML5 environment. Do not consider this as a limitation or a problem, rather, it is an opportunity. HTML5 offers great advantages that a Flash environment could never do such as:

  • Search for text within graphic elements
  • Incorporate responsive design that enables your content to be viewed on multiple screen sizes and orientations
  • Access on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets

Regardless of what your Flash content is, you have options to either convert or rebuild it from scratch in an HTML5 environment. The sooner you get started in that process, the more quickly you’ll be able to take advantages of the benefits of an HTML5 environment. If you have questions about what to do with your legacy Flash content, contact us to explore your needs and possible solutions. Contact us today to receive a free estimate.

Article by Johnny Hamilton

Johnny Hamilton has earned an Expert Level certification in Gamified Design and is eLearning Magazine’s 2016 Learning Champion award winner as a High Performer for his “outstanding contributions to the learning industry."

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