Vice Magazine have an interview with Rob Ford of FWA about his new book that documents how web-design trends have changed. Vice make a case for the early 2000s being the sweet spot for web-design and especially the use of Flash as a tool for pushing the boundaries for what was possible.
[Web Design: The Evolution of the Digital World 1990-Today] makes a compelling case through its general structure that the sweet spot of creative web design came during the late 1990s through the mid-2000s—periods in which major brands were willing to invest a whole lot of money in a website intended for show, not just tell.
For me this era was always one of style over substance; sites took so long to load, were difficult to use and were often totally inaccessible. I don’t think the death of Flash was why this era of design ended, but rather that the web grew up. The tools we have now allow for more complex animations but the focus is elsewhere. Content, usability and high conversion rates are king, and the fact that attention spans are measure in milliseconds means we can’t afford to make users wait to access our content or storefront. Still, that intro by TokyoPlastic is very hard to beat.