Make Adobe Flash Player interactive with browsers

Visitors to sites are accustomed to using the browser back/forward arrows for navigation and book marking.  We all know that Adobe Flash Player sites do not interact with browsers in this way without a little effort on the developer’s end.

While it is commonplace to use the back/forward arrows to navigate through non-Flash sites, other users prefer to use the actual navigation the site has provided for them.  For example, lets say you are searching a fairly large site.  While searching you would like to return to a previous section.  Using the arrows in your browser can be helpful if you don’t recall the name of the previous sections.  Now, if you’re in a Flash site that does not take advantage of browser interactivity you will be at a loss.  Clicking the back arrow key in a Flash site will actually take you out of the site completely.  This is one main reason why web usability consultant Jakob Nielsen states (in his now seven year old report) that Flash: 99% Bad.

When Nielsen wrote that report, Flash was still growing up. There are multiple ways of making Adobe Flash Player interacting with browsers now.  One of the features is to create an all-Flash site that functions like an HTML site.  This means that once you are searching through a large Flash site and use your browser arrow keys, they will function as if you are in an HTML site.  Using XML and deep linking, a full Flash site can give a user the ability to bookmark a specific section in the site, instead of just the home page. This can add additional accessibility and usability functionality to your Flash sites that make them user friendly and encourage rather than discourage traffic to your site.

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