ISITE Design

ISITE Design
is a big-money web dev firm in Portland, OR.  They recently
expanded to Boston, MA as well, judging by their web site. 
However, what's interesting to me is that for a while they had a
reasonably nice all-Flash site.  Definitely one of the better
Flash sites I'd run across.  That's now gone in favor of an
XHTML-based one.  They also have a Breeze presentation linked on
their homepage about measuring ROI on a Flash content.  Obviously
they did the math and decided that Flash wasn't appropriate.

I'm sure that I'm the only one this caught the eye of, but I think it's
a good sign that people (including high profile companies) are actually
taking the time to consider the ramifications of Flash, rather than
just jumping on the RIA bandwagon because is the "hot new thing." 
I've been saying for quite a while that RIAs are just simply not ready
for prime time, and pretty much been scoffed at.  They definitely
have their users, but they're still pretty narrow in scope.  And
yes, this is coming from a guy who's company's corporate web site
(which I built) is entirely Flash based.  Believe me that I went
kicking and screaming, and only acquiesced because they sign my

4 responses to “ISITE Design”

  1. tfitch

    Ahhh – my old stomping grounds.

    I can tell you that updating content in Flash can be easy or it can be hard (all site info is hard coded). The Flash site was created right before MX came out and the designers did all the work. They didn't make any hooks to update content via external files, so the FLA had to be edited and republished when changed.

    It had some good and fun stuff on the site though, but maintenance was the limiting factor.

  2. Scott Barnes

    RIA development isn't cost effective end of story.

    Its a bottleneck in development and you find yourself emulating a web browser in most cases anyway (datagrids etc). So they bring a more real-time event capabilities, streaming etc… all of which can still be done via FireFor or even worse M$ IE.

    From a SOE Enterprise point of view building applications is more worthwhile in a browser then flash as not enough skillshare is available and worse it requires re-inventing the wheel (even though the said wheel is broke – none the less works).

    I remember spending a week with nothing but a red square on screen and my boss kept walking past cracking jokes "Hows that red square coming along scott" – even though we both knew it was simply a place holder and underneath it a fairly heavy API was being built.

    Visuals are most peoples que for measuring how a project is proceeding and sometimes even with a code schematics layed out they keep wanting to take a visual que.

    FLEX came about as a solution to counteract all what i've said and in truth – it does. It sadly though costs a mint to implement it.

  3. JesterXL

    I fail to see how a website is akin to a RIA. A RIA is just that, an application. A website, the word itself and what it represents, is not an application, web or not.

    The RIA's I have created for customers are simply applications which have to cool factor of fat clients with the portability to web and CD-ROM.

    There's a reason my work for clients is in Flash, and my website is done in HTML. They are 2, totally different things.

  4. Maxim Porges


    Are you saying that is not an application? That huge, transactional beast that (I would estimate) rivals the throughput of many large software applications put together?

    While there is a difference between a web site and a RIA, there is also such a thing as a "web application."

    Like any paradigm, there are benefits and caveats to using the web as your GUI medium, but many people build wonderful, easy to use applications with the web. And they are *still* applications – their use of a browser doesn't strip them of that distinction.

    - max