Newbie IA with flash questions

15 Feb 2007 - 6:53pm
7 years ago
2 replies
372 reads
Monique Escamilla
2006

Hi,

I'm a bit of a newbie; I'm still in school, and this is my second time
posting to the group. I'm trying to expand my flash skills, and so am using
flash to design some buttons that will be at the bottom of a homepage I am
redesigning.

When clicked, one button will open a pop-up window. I'm using JavaScript in
my html to create a menu that has no scroll bar, no menu bar, etc.

But back to the point: I don't have much practice incorporating flash files
into my html. Should I start out saving my flash buttons with a document
property size that is the actual size in pixels that I want my buttons to
be? Or should I use my html to restrict the size of the buttons?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Monique Escamilla

Comments

15 Feb 2007 - 9:58pm
Will Parker
2007

On Feb 15, 2007, at 3:53 PM, Monique Escamilla wrote:

> I'm a bit of a newbie; I'm still in school, and this is my second time
> posting to the group. I'm trying to expand my flash skills, and so
> am using
> flash to design some buttons that will be at the bottom of a
> homepage I am
> redesigning.

> When clicked, one button will open a pop-up window. I'm using
> JavaScript in
> my html to create a menu that has no scroll bar, no menu bar, etc.

Forgive me for starting with what may seem a tangent to your
questions, but among the first things to consider in interaction
design is whether the presentation method actually provides a benefit
to the user. In this case, I have to ask:

Why a Flash button rather than simple HTML/CSS/Javascript?
Why a floating menu, rather than an embedded pane revealed when the
button is clicked?

Unless you're doing something special in the way of animation of the
button when the user interacts with it, Flash doesn't really do
anything useful in this case, and even if you're doing fancy
animation -- does the animation inform the user, or merely distract
them?

Regarding floating menus and palettes, I used to work on the Office
for Macintosh team. We found that having too many floating UI
elements (and by 'too many', I mean 'more than zero') distracted the
user from the tasks they wanted to accomplish.

Here's the fruit of several weeks of lab time with about twenty test
subjects, a usability engineer, two senior design PMs and a very
curious QA engineer (me):

"[Obscenity], that [insert pejorative description of floating
element] is
in my way AGAIN! I'll just close it ...

... annnd _now_ how do I [insert name
of next task with controls only on the closed menu]?"

In short, floating UI elements tend to get in the way, and people
have a very strong desire to turn them off or move them to the edge
of the screen and immediately forget about them. They also have a
near universal tendency to forget that the now-invisible floating UI
contained controls that they now need, and will spend above 20
minutes looking everywhere else in the UI before they think about
bring that annoying floater back.

Research shows that in this case, out of sight really does equal out
of mind, so therefore I'd advise against the floating menu on
usability grounds.

Of course, this is an academic exercise and your assignment
requirements probably will force you to go with Flash and floating
menu, but you also need to learn to do informed, determined and
persuasive pushback on requirements that don't actively enhance the
user experience. Pushback is a vital tool in any designer's toolbox.

Oh -- and if pushback doesn't work, think about presenting an
alternative design proposal along with the finished original design.

> But back to the point: I don't have much practice incorporating
> flash files
> into my html. Should I start out saving my flash buttons with a
> document
> property size that is the actual size in pixels that I want my
> buttons to
> be? Or should I use my html to restrict the size of the buttons?
>
> Thanks for any help you can offer!

Haven't used Flash embedded in HTML too often, for reasons stated
above, so if someone more qualified comes along, take _their_ word
for it.

However, the core answer depends on whether your Flash contains any
bitmap graphics that won't resize well. If it's all vector graphics,
you should be OK with either Flash document size properties OR HTML
properties. If it contains bitmaps, set BOTH Flash and HTML size to
match the l size of the bitmaps as originally placed in the Flash
animation. You don't want a badly-resized bitmap in your final product.

- Will
Will Parker
wparker at ChannelingDesign.com

"The only people who value your specialist knowledge are the ones who
already have it." - William Tozier

16 Feb 2007 - 6:20am
Graham White
2005

Hi,

You can rescale a .swf file in your html, first add this actionscript to the
first frame of the movie

Stage.scaleMode = "exactfit"

and to the object tag - <PARAM NAME="scale" VALUE="exactfit">
embed tag - scale="exactfit"

then use the html width and height values to rescale the file.

It would be a good practice to build for the size you need to use, but if
you needed to have a graphic appear on a page(s) at different sizes, you
could use one file and rescale each instance in the html.

Graham White

Graham White
DIGITAL MEDIA DESIGN
711 West End Avenue 2DN
New York, NY 10025-6891
http://www.gwhite.us

----- Original Message -----
From: "Monique Escamilla" <moniquecooks at gmail.com>
To: <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 6:53 PM
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Newbie IA with flash questions

> Hi,
>
> I'm a bit of a newbie; I'm still in school, and this is my second time
> posting to the group. I'm trying to expand my flash skills, and so am
> using
> flash to design some buttons that will be at the bottom of a homepage I am
> redesigning.
>
> When clicked, one button will open a pop-up window. I'm using JavaScript
> in
> my html to create a menu that has no scroll bar, no menu bar, etc.
>
> But back to the point: I don't have much practice incorporating flash
> files
> into my html. Should I start out saving my flash buttons with a document
> property size that is the actual size in pixels that I want my buttons to
> be? Or should I use my html to restrict the size of the buttons?
>
> Thanks for any help you can offer!
>
> Monique Escamilla
> ________________________________________________________________
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