Why have just a billboard presence? Why not develop a service on-line that will create repeat traffic and have an added value of reducing stress on limited "real time" resources. Federal Express With the ever increasing number of applications and tools introducing new and more complex methods of interactivity, the nature of good Web design is evolving. This growth means there are myriad ways to develop a site. Many clients want every bell and whistle, to ensure their site will be considered "third" or "next" generation, the current standard for superlative design. Many of these bells and whistles may not be used to their best advantage. Incorporating Java for the sake of stating "this site is Java enriched" or utilizing GIF89a animations to the point where everything moves is overkill and not the best use of the tools available. There are many considerations to take into account when one is determining what to new forms of interactivity to use. Who is the typical user? With what speed modem will your typical user be accessing the site? It's hard to draw a line as the statistics shift continuously. Yahoo has an extensive listing of resource sites for current demographics and projections to find out what browser they're most likely to be using. Yes, a designer may take a stand: "You must be using X browser to view this site-go here to download the most recent version before you can experience our site in all its glory." But chances are, unless a user has an overwhelming desire to interrupt their journey for a "quick" download experience, they will either proceed with what they have or jump to the next site on their path. In addition to determining who the typical user is, it's also important to determine what tool to use to create the best possible experience for the user. Java, Shockwave, Flash, and GIF89a are the most popular methods of incorporating additional interactivity and animation. What is reasonable use? What's unreasonable to the point of alienating users? It would be pointless to create a simple animation in Java where a simple GIF89a would do the trick.
It goes without saying that Java is the holy grail of Web development. Java is a very powerful platform- independent programming language which brings the greatest possibility for interactivity on the Web and given the extreme complexity, the greatest headache. Unlike Shockwave or Flash, Java does not require a plug-in. This may seem to be a trivial point for veteran Web users, but for the novice can be a daunting proposition. Given that the majority of popular browsers support Java, a designer can rest assured that the site will be experienced as created.