Dan, I would be interested to know why the flash is a bad idea. ...Our [website] designer seems to think otherwise.
Uh-oh: getting into it with the designer via proxy can't be good. But here's what I wrote in response - feel free to set me straight if I've gone off-track:
Jakob Neilsen said it best back in 2000 - and all of his concerns still hold up: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html
To which I would add several more reasons:
third-party plug-in to function.
Until very recently, Google could not navigate through Flash to crawl pages - and even now it's capabilities are subject to some limitations (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/06/improved-flash-indexing.html).
On breaking the Web experience - if you try to right-click on the Flash navigation, you don't get the option to open the link in a new tab or window, or add a bookmark to the page that link represents. And I bet the links would work for you everywhere
For the paranoid, Flash is a proprietary format and therefore requires you to trust that the content that is being served up isn't doing something nefarious while appearing innocuous. A small percentage
of people use plug-ins like NoScript to block Flash content and only enable Flash for specific pages when necessary. Having to enable it for navigation is annoying.
If your designer really, really wants to keep the Flash experience, the
least they could do would be to put a plain HTML navigation menu inside
the <noscript>...</noscript> section rather than the "Get Flash!" thing
that currently appears.