The bottom line is that none of the feedback I’ve received has convinced me that choosing Flash as a delivery option for a new product or project would be a good idea today, especially if I want it to play on mobile and live for 5 years.
But then I received a great question via a comment:
I am a Masters student enrolled in an Instructional Design course with Walden University. I am somewhat new to the field and this article intrigues me. Should I hold off on learning Flash... and focus more on learning HTML5? Or would it be best to learn both? I know a very little about Flash and made it a goal to learn more, but now I wonder. You input is greatly appreciated.
What a great question and kudos to this student for being so on top of things to ask it!
And it was somewhat the inspiration for this month’s Big Question - Tools to Learn. If you’ve not done so already, you should go read each of the posts there. They have different perspectives and taken together they provide a pretty good roadmap of how to think about what tools you should learn.
Jeff Goldman in Development Tools I Would Learn If I Were You - Jeff's response to June’s Big Question tells us:
Flash: Yes, Flash is still very much alive and well in e-learning and because it is so embedded in our industry and there is nothing at this time that can provide the rich interactive elements that it provides, I do not see it being “dead” in our field anytime soon. The fact is HTML5 is not there yet and if it ever does get there it will probably be more than 5 years before it is at the level of quality and ease of development that Flash currently provides. However, see my comments under HTML/HTML5.
To me the question is more about where you choose to spend your time. The list of tools that Harold and Holly provide are pretty lengthy. And Jeff suggests both Flash and HTML 5. If you have so much time that you can afford to learn all of these tools, then go ahead.
However, if you have to prioritize Flash vs. HTML 5 vs. ??? … then I would put learning Flash (especially scripting in Flash) way down on priority list at this point. Remember End of an Era – Authorware – another Macromedia/Adobe product. These things do eventually die out. How valuable are your Authorware scripting skills at this point?
Learning Flash today is like learning Authorware in 1997.
So, yes, hold off on learning Flash and focus more on learning HTML 5.