Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Gasparilla vs. Restoring the Everglades

Tampa Bay Online is not my favorite news site. The home page is cluttered and unorganized and the execution of the site is sloppy.

Recently, two of their multimedia packages were brought to my attention: Gasparilla and Restoring the Everglades.

The separate elements of the Gasparilla package are very well done, though I’m not crazy about how they are assembled. The pictures are great, but why are there two separate slide shows? And one of them is really small. :( To play the Gasparilla game, you have to download Shockwave. Grrr.

Restoring the Everglades is a far more important package. And while the concept behind what they tried to do is super awesome, it looks sloppy. The sunflowers have weird green background, the separate layers of animation don’t blend and are sometimes shaky.
The article underneath the multimedia package is contained in Flash, but doesn’t do anything besides scroll down through the article with a nice graphic next to it.

Flash shouldn’t be used for Flash’s sake. If the article works better at text, leave it in text. If you want to make it a package and don’t want to split up the article into reasonable segments, embed or link a related package.

If your complicated Flash package looks weird or doesn’t work right, simplify. Content is still king, and your super-duper (non-functional) multimedia won’t do anything for you.

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