why is flash so awesome? [user focused flash]

22 Oct 2007 - 4:33pm
7 years ago
23 replies
934 reads
lorelei brown
2007

Hey everyone -

I'm coming back to consulting from working as an
innie, and have not really thought about Flash since
2002. Things have changed!

My new company sells a lot of flash - our clients love
it, and love the idea of it. I want to think about how
to use Flash strategically, as part of a greater
experience, instead of that little fancy blinking
thing on the homepage.

So, why is flash so awesome? What does it do that
nothing else does better?

How can we use Flash to improve an interface or an
experience? What makes it better than, say, Ajax or
DHTML for interactivity?

What is Flash particularly good at as a development
platform?

Any resources, ideas, thoughts on user-focused flash
are greatly appreciated!

thanks!

Lorelei

Comments

22 Oct 2007 - 5:11pm
lisa herrod
2007

Hi Lorelei

I think to get a true understanding of Flash you also need to ask the
questions, what does it do badly? How does it impede flow and impact
negatively on the user experience...

all the best,

Lisa Herrod

--
Lisa Herrod
Web Usability: User Experience Research, Consulting and Training

Business: http://www.Scenarioseven.com.au <http://www.scenarioseven.com.au/>
Blog: http://www.Scenariogirl.com <http://www.scenariogirl.com/>

On 23/10/2007, Lorelei Brown < loreleibrown at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Hey everyone -
> >
> > I'm coming back to consulting from working as an
> > innie, and have not really thought about Flash since
> > 2002. Things have changed!
> >
> > My new company sells a lot of flash - our clients love
> > it, and love the idea of it. I want to think about how
> > to use Flash strategically, as part of a greater
> > experience, instead of that little fancy blinking
> > thing on the homepage.
> >
> > So, why is flash so awesome? What does it do that
> > nothing else does better?
> >
> > How can we use Flash to improve an interface or an
> > experience? What makes it better than, say, Ajax or
> > DHTML for interactivity?
> >
> > What is Flash particularly good at as a development
> > platform?
> >
> > Any resources, ideas, thoughts on user-focused flash
> > are greatly appreciated!
> >
> > thanks!
> >
> > Lorelei
> >
> >
>

22 Oct 2007 - 5:22pm
Ari
2006

On 10/22/07, Lorelei Brown <loreleibrown at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Hey everyone -
>
> I'm coming back to consulting from working as an
> innie, and have not really thought about Flash since
> 2002. Things have changed!
>
> My new company sells a lot of flash - our clients love
> it, and love the idea of it. I want to think about how
> to use Flash strategically, as part of a greater
> experience, instead of that little fancy blinking
> thing on the homepage.
>
> So, why is flash so awesome? What does it do that
> nothing else does better?

it is very good for many times of things but i find it very useful for tools
that manipulate media such as play audio or video. in fact, my company uses
it for creating audio ads using 6 different methods.

How can we use Flash to improve an interface or an
> experience? What makes it better than, say, Ajax or
> DHTML for interactivity?

AJAX/DHTML make it very close to providing desktop-like functionality.
however, they're still bound by issues on the backend such as maintaining
state, etc. in addition, things like modality, drag and drop and other
desktop-esque functionality is difficult to implement correctly in
AJAX/DHTML without A LOT of hacks and testing - trust me, i know - on
another project we discovered bugs in browsers that no one would find unless
you were trying to alpha blend PNGs more than N times, etc.

Flash is good at maintaining state and the fact that it is resolution
dependent, also makes it very flexible for a variety of UI and user apps.
what's more Flash is ubiquitous and with very few exceptions works the same
on Windows as it does on the Mac (there are exceptions but they are rare and
can usually be trapped).

What is Flash particularly good at as a development
> platform?

video playing, audio playing, games and visual. WYISWYG content creation.

it is not good at manipulating lots of text or content, however - e.g. CMS,
blogs - there are Flash-only tools that provide this functionality but they
don't work all that well. AJAX/DHTML + server side magic still trumps Flash
in this regard.

thanks!
>
> Lorelei
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

22 Oct 2007 - 7:32pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

I recently had an opportunity to spend a couple of weeks working on
high-resolution mobile application mockups using ActionScript 3.0, the most
recent variant of the Flash language. I did a bit of follow-up research
afterwards to learn more.

This new version of the language is very like Javascript in some ways and
very like Java in others. If you're prototyping sloppy code you don't need
to type (as in "is a type of ") anything. You can also go in a more formal
direction and create nested libraries of custom objects that know about each
other. I found it a fast language to work in, and not too difficult to
debug. My little mockups were well-received. The first mockup was of the app
as it will probably ship, the second, of the app 1 rev out. After working
with this a bit, I didn't like it. Fire the designer (oops, that's me). So I
did a third mockup of how I thought it ought to
really-no-I-mean-it-this-time work. I changed the way some pieces worked,
removed a couple of controls, and used buttons on the device instead of on
the screen. Seemed better. Still under discussion. This all happened in a
couple of weeks. Pretty handy tool.

Adobe is heading in a very interesting direction with their Flash / Flex /
Apollo projects. They have a universally-distributed front-end development
tool with a well-defined and furbished development language. The Flex and
Apollo parts are more development-centric, and are aimed at creating rich
desktop applications in Flash. The idea seems to be, if Flash is such an
agreeable environment to create simple web UIs with, why not use it to
create desktop applications? I believe that Microsoft has a similar project
going called Silverlight. Adobe or MS folks who are better informed than I
please do chip in here.

Practically, on the web now, Flash is used a lot for little postage stamp ad
movies, for moving banners of all kinds, for special font replacements, to
create interactive games, and to act as a secured front end to a back end
library of media, like music or movies or photographs. Flash movies seem
also to be the hobby outlet of about 50,000 film school grads.

I hope this is helpful and isn't too wordy,

Michael Micheletti

On 10/22/07, Lorelei Brown <loreleibrown at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
> So, why is flash so awesome? What does it do that
> nothing else does better?
>
> How can we use Flash to improve an interface or an
> experience? What makes it better than, say, Ajax or
> DHTML for interactivity?
>
> What is Flash particularly good at as a development
> platform?
>

22 Oct 2007 - 7:47pm
Kel Smith
2007

Flash is excellent for creating high-fidelity prototypes quickly and
cheaply. It's possible, with ActionScript and XML/flat-file data
sources, to replicate the topical functionality of fully-featured
applications. I've used these tools to achieve buy-in from the
client, depicting a recommended user experience at minimal cost and
effort overhead. Plus it's frighteningly simple to integrate video
content, and is in fact ideal for such projects.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21757

23 Oct 2007 - 1:08am
Cliff Williams
2007

Are Flash interfaces still an accessibility black hole? Unless that
has improved substantially, I cannot imagine leveraging it for more
than the niche uses mentioned previously (wrapping media playback,
for example). Even these uses do nasty things to the user experience
like breaking the page's tab path and blocking browser keyboard
shortcuts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21757

23 Oct 2007 - 7:45am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Just to preface this mini-rant, I've used Flash since version 3, spent
2 years working with Flash to build hollywood movie sites, and still
use it on certain projects....

Accessibility in Flash has come a long way, but it is a lot of work to
do right. When building a large Flash app the devs spends most of
their time rebuilding what a web browser already does... back button,
bookmarks, deep linking, tab paths, accessibility, scrolling. It
takes a lot of extra work just to get a basic app framework built in
Flash that you get for free in (D)HTML/JavaScript.

With the advances of (D)HTML/JavaScript for animation and rich
interactivity Flash is losing ground in area that used to be solely
its domain.

The other issue I see is that Flash is a closed platform... you can't
learn AS3 by looking at other people's code. This is the best way to
lear JS and HTML, and it really the reason for the web's success as a
medium. Anybody can learn basic JS, HTML, CSS just by hitting view
source. To try your hand at flash you have to buy an expensive piece
of software, and then use tutorials that might not show you what you
really want to know.

I'm not a big fan of Flash, generally I find it's more work to get
less. IMHO it's great for video, rich media experience type sites,
marketing micro sites... but that's about it.

On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 23:08:53, Cliff Williams <cliff.williams at move.com> wrote:
> Are Flash interfaces still an accessibility black hole? Unless that
> has improved substantially, I cannot imagine leveraging it for more
> than the niche uses mentioned previously (wrapping media playback,
> for example). Even these uses do nasty things to the user experience
> like breaking the page's tab path and blocking browser keyboard
> shortcuts.

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

23 Oct 2007 - 7:17am
James Leslie
2007

Additionally, I don't believe that Flash pages can be bookmarked at
anything other than the root level. So a user who wants to often go back
to a page 3 levels down would have to manually go there (no doubt after
waiting for various intros along the way) rather than being able to just
go straight there in an HTML site.

23 Oct 2007 - 6:43am
Kel Smith
2007

Great point, Cliff. There have been great improvements in delivering
accessible Flash content in recent years. Although I would agree that
it can become a slippery slope towards the possibility of neutralizing
browser behavior fundamental to users.

I've personally developed accessible learning modules using Flash in
tandem with other technologies. But these were very specialized cases.
General features such as tab indexing etc are supported.

Good stuff here:

http://www.webaim.org/techniques/flash/
http://www.webreference.com/authoring/flash/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21757

23 Oct 2007 - 10:15am
Will Parker
2007

On Oct 23, 2007, at 5:17 AM, James Leslie wrote:

> Additionally, I don't believe that Flash pages can be bookmarked at
> anything other than the root level.

There has been some work done on creating bookmarkable URLs in Flash
pages, and apparently there are two or three methods that work
reasonably well. I don't have my collection of links handy at the
moment, but see http://f6design.com/journal/2006/11/18/deeplink-flash-
deep-linking/ for one example. If there's interest, I can dig out more.

The *real* problem is getting Flash-only developers to think of HTML
as anything but a wrapper to be added on later.

Will Parker
WParker at ChannelingDesign.com

23 Oct 2007 - 10:32am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

The issue with all these techniques for adding bookmarks, deep links,
etc.. is that they are a lot of work and have to be integrated at the
very beginning of the project.. and in the end they give you a lesser
version of what you get for free in a browser.

On 10/23/07, Will Parker <wparker at channelingdesign.com> wrote:
>
> On Oct 23, 2007, at 5:17 AM, James Leslie wrote:
>
> > Additionally, I don't believe that Flash pages can be bookmarked at
> > anything other than the root level.
>
> There has been some work done on creating bookmarkable URLs in Flash
> pages, and apparently there are two or three methods that work
> reasonably well. I don't have my collection of links handy at the
> moment, but see http://f6design.com/journal/2006/11/18/deeplink-flash-
> deep-linking/ for one example. If there's interest, I can dig out more.
>
> The *real* problem is getting Flash-only developers to think of HTML
> as anything but a wrapper to be added on later.

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

23 Oct 2007 - 11:05am
Pete Hensing
2007

Depends on what you call "free". Deep-linking is not just a problem with Flash, but with AJAX/DHTML apps as well. Assuming a heavy AJAX front-end, roughly the same amount of work must be done in Javascript as much as Actionscript in Flash. Our team has had to deal with issues when developing both Flash and AJAX front-ends, and neither were all that easy.

On Tuesday, October 23, 2007, at 08:42AM, "Matthew Nish-Lapidus" <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
>The issue with all these techniques for adding bookmarks, deep links,
>etc.. is that they are a lot of work and have to be integrated at the
>very beginning of the project.. and in the end they give you a lesser
>version of what you get for free in a browser.
>
>
>On 10/23/07, Will Parker <wparker at channelingdesign.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Oct 23, 2007, at 5:17 AM, James Leslie wrote:
>>
>> > Additionally, I don't believe that Flash pages can be bookmarked at
>> > anything other than the root level.
>>
>> There has been some work done on creating bookmarkable URLs in Flash
>> pages, and apparently there are two or three methods that work
>> reasonably well. I don't have my collection of links handy at the
>> moment, but see http://f6design.com/journal/2006/11/18/deeplink-flash-
>> deep-linking/ for one example. If there's interest, I can dig out more.
>>
>> The *real* problem is getting Flash-only developers to think of HTML
>> as anything but a wrapper to be added on later.
>
>--
>Matt Nish-Lapidus
>email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
>++
>LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
>Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>
>

23 Oct 2007 - 10:42am
Dan Harrelson
2007

Yahoo! "solved" the bookmarking problem with their Flex-based maps
product. As you click through the app, the URI is appended with the
required arguments to retrieve previous state.

http://maps.yahoo.com

...Dan

23 Oct 2007 - 1:49pm
Will Parker
2007

On Oct 23, 2007, at 8:32 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:

> The issue with all these techniques for adding bookmarks, deep links,
> etc.. is that they are a lot of work and have to be integrated at the
> very beginning of the project.. and in the end they give you a lesser
> version of what you get for free in a browser.

The techniques I've seen offer standard bookmarkable URLs, displayed
in the browser address bar, which when used in a browser take one to
the current 'page' in the Flash app. Obviously, navigating to these
URLS via browser back, forward and history buttons also work. So --
how are these "lesser versions"? (Before anyone mentions Ajax in this
context, it's still easier to find Flash devs than talented Ajax
jockeys up here in Baja Canada.)

Admittedly, more work for the Flash devs, but we should be designing
for the public, not the dev staff. Also, I'm now starting to see this
functionality abstracted out into relatively simple frameworks.

-Will

Will Parker
WParker at ChannelingDesign.com

23 Oct 2007 - 2:16pm
Chris Borokowski
2007

Flash apps that emulate web functionality are a welcome change from the
norm. At some point, whether it's Flash or Silverlight or Ajax, we're
going to see these new systems take over even more of navigation. It's
important to remember that URL-based bookmarking is in part what made
the web great, that "I can get back here easily" sense one needs in
vast systems of interconnected data.

--- Will Parker <wparker at channelingdesign.com> wrote:

> The techniques I've seen offer standard bookmarkable URLs, displayed
> in the browser address bar, which when used in a browser take one to
> the current 'page' in the Flash app. Obviously, navigating to these
> URLS via browser back, forward and history buttons also work.

http://technical-writing.dionysius.com/
technical writing | consulting | development

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

23 Oct 2007 - 2:10pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Hi,

Yes, it does exist, and there are a number of decent libraries that
offer this functionality. All I meant is that it take extra work and
time, and you have to plan for it from day one. Integrating these
techniques into existing flash sites is very difficult, if not
impossible.

You also have to carefully map out your URI structure, since it's
completely abstract. This type of thing takes a ton of extra planning
work to pull off well, and most places don't or aren't willing to do
it.

It also relies on some javascript, so now you have the
javascript/flash communication to worry about (although it's usually
not an issue).

In the end, all these things are doable, but at what cost? And no
matter what you do you will never have the kind of search engine
friendliness you get with HTML.

And none of these things address the big issue of Flash being a closed
platform. If HTML had been closed the web as we know it would not
exist.

On 10/23/07, Will Parker <wparker at channelingdesign.com> wrote:
>
> On Oct 23, 2007, at 8:32 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:
>
> The issue with all these techniques for adding bookmarks, deep links,
> etc.. is that they are a lot of work and have to be integrated at the
> very beginning of the project.. and in the end they give you a lesser
> version of what you get for free in a browser.
>
> The techniques I've seen offer standard bookmarkable URLs, displayed in the
> browser address bar, which when used in a browser take one to the current
> 'page' in the Flash app. Obviously, navigating to these URLS via browser
> back, forward and history buttons also work. So -- how are these "lesser
> versions"? (Before anyone mentions Ajax in this context, it's still easier
> to find Flash devs than talented Ajax jockeys up here in Baja Canada.)
>
> Admittedly, more work for the Flash devs, but we should be designing for the
> public, not the dev staff. Also, I'm now starting to see this functionality
> abstracted out into relatively simple frameworks.
>
> -Will
>
>
> Will Parker
> WParker at ChannelingDesign.com

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

23 Oct 2007 - 3:01pm
Ari
2006

Flash is closed to a point. The format is not. This allows many tools to
read and write or manipulate SWF and FLV files in many ways.
Not that I love Flash from an authoring standpoint...the whole IDE UI has
always been overly complex. It's a holdover from the days when Director and
Lingo were king.

On 10/23/07, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> Yes, it does exist, and there are a number of decent libraries that
> offer this functionality. All I meant is that it take extra work and
> time, and you have to plan for it from day one. Integrating these
> techniques into existing flash sites is very difficult, if not
> impossible.
>
> You also have to carefully map out your URI structure, since it's
> completely abstract. This type of thing takes a ton of extra planning
> work to pull off well, and most places don't or aren't willing to do
> it.
>
> It also relies on some javascript, so now you have the
> javascript/flash communication to worry about (although it's usually
> not an issue).
>
> In the end, all these things are doable, but at what cost? And no
> matter what you do you will never have the kind of search engine
> friendliness you get with HTML.
>
> And none of these things address the big issue of Flash being a closed
> platform. If HTML had been closed the web as we know it would not
> exist.
>
>
> On 10/23/07, Will Parker <wparker at channelingdesign.com> wrote:
> >
> > On Oct 23, 2007, at 8:32 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:
> >
> > The issue with all these techniques for adding bookmarks, deep links,
> > etc.. is that they are a lot of work and have to be integrated at the
> > very beginning of the project.. and in the end they give you a lesser
> > version of what you get for free in a browser.
> >
> > The techniques I've seen offer standard bookmarkable URLs, displayed in
> the
> > browser address bar, which when used in a browser take one to the
> current
> > 'page' in the Flash app. Obviously, navigating to these URLS via browser
> > back, forward and history buttons also work. So -- how are these "lesser
> > versions"? (Before anyone mentions Ajax in this context, it's still
> easier
> > to find Flash devs than talented Ajax jockeys up here in Baja Canada.)
> >
> > Admittedly, more work for the Flash devs, but we should be designing for
> the
> > public, not the dev staff. Also, I'm now starting to see this
> functionality
> > abstracted out into relatively simple frameworks.
> >
> > -Will
> >
> >
> > Will Parker
> > WParker at ChannelingDesign.com
>
>
> --
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
> ++
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
> Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

23 Oct 2007 - 2:05pm
Anonymous

Will - everything you say is true, but the issue is there are so many legacy
Flash sites out there (try looking up your favorite band) these new
innovations really only apply to new development.

Someone completely redoing an existing site seems very unlikely.

-Mike

23 Oct 2007 - 3:09pm
Chris Borokowski
2007

After having developed a couple CD-ROMs in Lingo, I have to say that if
they were ever King, I remain a revolutionary.

--- Ari Feldman <ari1970 at gmail.com> wrote:

> It's a holdover from the days when Director and
> Lingo were king.

http://technical-writing.dionysius.com/
technical writing | consulting | development

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

23 Oct 2007 - 3:04pm
Chris Borokowski
2007

These are good questions. I think it makes sense to have Flash emulate
the structure of HTML pages, because they are still the best form of
navigation we have.

I have never liked Flash for the reason you mention, namely that it's a
closed platform from a notoriously flaky company. Open standards, or de
facto open standards, are much better.

However, Google can read Flash/.swf files:
http://www.searchengineworkshops.com/articles/flash.html

So insert header tags if you can work it into the project spec.

--- Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:

> In the end, all these things are doable, but at what cost? And no
> matter what you do you will never have the kind of search engine
> friendliness you get with HTML.
>
> And none of these things address the big issue of Flash being a
> closed
> platform. If HTML had been closed the web as we know it would not
> exist.

http://technical-writing.dionysius.com/
technical writing | consulting | development

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

23 Oct 2007 - 3:17pm
Ari
2006

i've experimented with it and using your metaphor, all i can say is viva
Fidel! :-)

On 10/23/07, Chris Borokowski <athloi at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> After having developed a couple CD-ROMs in Lingo, I have to say that if
> they were ever King, I remain a revolutionary.
>
> --- Ari Feldman <ari1970 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > It's a holdover from the days when Director and
> > Lingo were king.
>
> http://technical-writing.dionysius.com/
> technical writing | consulting | development
>
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

23 Oct 2007 - 3:22pm
Pierre Roberge
2005

I am currently in the process of learning Actionscript 3.0 and Flex.
Flash seems to be a very malleable medium so it seems great to design
and test out new widgets and new UI behaviors.

I find Flex hides some of the complexities of Actionscript even though
you need actionscript if you want to be really creative. Lynda.com
helps a lot.

BTW, adobe (labs) is creating Adobe Thermo which is supposed to allow
designers to create Rich Internet UIs without coding. These Uis will
then be able to be incorporated in the Flex environment so that
programmers can do their magic. This is similar in goal to Microsoft
Expression Designer.

http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Thermo

Pierre

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Lorelei Brown
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 5:33 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] why is flash so awesome? [user focused flash]

Hey everyone -

I'm coming back to consulting from working as an innie, and have not
really thought about Flash since 2002. Things have changed!

My new company sells a lot of flash - our clients love it, and love the
idea of it. I want to think about how to use Flash strategically, as
part of a greater experience, instead of that little fancy blinking
thing on the homepage.

So, why is flash so awesome? What does it do that nothing else does
better?

How can we use Flash to improve an interface or an experience? What
makes it better than, say, Ajax or DHTML for interactivity?

What is Flash particularly good at as a development platform?

Any resources, ideas, thoughts on user-focused flash are greatly
appreciated!

thanks!

Lorelei
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org Unsubscribe
................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe List Guidelines
............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines List Help
.................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help

----------
etfs inc. The information transmitted is intended only for the person or
entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or
privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other
use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by
persons or entities other than the intended recipient, is prohibited. If
you have received this in error, please contact the sender and delete
the material from any computer. Unless otherwise stated, opinions
expressed in this e-mail are those of the author and are not endorsed
by the author's employer.

etfs inc. L'information transmise ne s'adresse qu'au particulier ou a
l'organisme a qui il est dirige. Il peut contenir des renseignements de
nature privilegiee et/ou confidentielle . Si le lecteur de ce message
n'est pas le destinataire vise, ni l'employe ou le mandataire charge de
la livraison au destinataire vise, il est par la presente avise que
toute dissemination, distribution ou transcription de cette
communication est strictement interdite. Si vous avez recu la presente
communication par erreur, veuillez nous en aviser immediatement par
courriel et detruire le document de tout ordinateur le contenant. A
moins d'avis contraire, toute opinion exprimee dans le present courriel
est celle de son auteur et n'est pas endossee par l'employeur de la
personne qui l'exprime.

24 Oct 2007 - 5:52pm
Ethan Estes
2007

Well, to get back to your question :"How can we use Flash to improve
an interface or an experience? What makes it better than, say, Ajax
or DHTML for interactivity?"

In my experience-the majority of the
multimedia/illustration/animation/motion graphic artists i know and
graduated with got into using flash in the late 90's and have pushed
the experience ever since. I mean i love google mail etc but it just
does not satisfy me like picknik, sliderocket, ezmo etc. do. With
that base of creative visual interactions brewing over the years
adobe began reaching out to the developers to find ways of organizing
the platform in a way the were comfortable with: classes, dot syntax,
packages, frameworks and Flex builder ide.

I feel like the nexus of flash ide timeline, AS3, flex, apollo, and
flashlite (and soon thermo) just create an environment/ecosystem that
clients look at and say-"i want that, i want my target audience to be
excited to use my service etc". Plus you tie all the CS3 integration
in and it's just more fun to come to work everyday. So the workers
push the solutions and clients notice. It's more tactile, sketchy,
pusing paint on the canvas way of working and trying stuff. And I
think the enthusiasm for flash shows up in the work produced.
(37signals is one web based company that i think comes close to it
via their agile methods)

Honestly i love Flash for allowing me to blow off the browser as
well-it's insane the crap they bring to a project when you have the
platform/browser/version to have to support. Flashplayer version is
all i need to sniff for, i have one standard to target, and it's a
smoother development experience. I get to spend more time on the app
and less on resolving browser "issues"

As soon as i can get my clients to access our content via an air app
i will. Heck i can just set up a sprite and render the html to it via
flash in the air runtime since Air supports that via webkit support.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21757

24 Oct 2007 - 11:54pm
Parth Upadhye
2007

I have been keenly following this thread on Flash. I have worked with
Flash extensively since version 3. The tools and the medium have
evolved considerably. There used to be so much hesitation to use
DHTML then browsers evolved. Interestingly Flash always functioned if
you had the player.
Flex is a very interesting authoring environment built on the Flash
platform. You can rapidly prototype with it, almost eliminating the
need for wireframing; in fact one could extend your application to
display design notes if you want. With some know-how you can can
easily connect your application to XML data.
What Flash brought to web development was not only animation but the
ability to separate content from form - before CSS and XML became the
rage. AJAX still forces you to stay within a vertical-horizontal grid
[please correct me here] The power of Flash is the ability to work
with the screen as if it is blank sheet. You can create organic
shaped objects.
Flash also encouraged creating back-end independent applications - so
they can be desktop or with a Java or .Net or whatever backend. Flex,
however, encourages you to use web services which unfortunately bind
you the back-end - so you don't need PHP or ASP. Silverlight (I have
not used it yet) also does exactly this - in fact you use Visual
Studio (.NET)
Long story short, if you work in a .NET shop Silverlight may most
probably be the way to go; if not then go AJAX or Flash/Flex. I
prefer Flash/Flex (see above for organic shapes).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21757

Syndicate content Get the feed