Making the Best With Flash™

Making the Best With Flash™

Five Best Practices for Creating Engaging Content with Macromedia® Flash™

By Christine Perfetti and Matthew Klee

Single Report: $19.99

Group License: $69.99 (Share with your group, including right to reproduce the report and store on your intranet)

30 pages, November 2001

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Create Powerful Flash Applications That Users Will Love

There are those who will tell you that Macromedia Flash is 99 percent bad. It's true the designers can get carried away and produce hard-to-use designs. Like all tools, Flash can be dangerous in the wrong hands. However, our research turned up some excellent designs that users really love. This report will show you what it takes to make your users love your designs.

What do you need to know to create truly usable Flash applications? When is Flash the right choice? When does it make the site more frustrating for users?

Christine Perfetti and Matthew Klee, two experts from User Interface Engineering, have searched out and analyzed dozens of Flash implementations. Some implementations worked really well for users. Some, well, not so well. They compared the successes to the failures and came up with five best practices for creating truly engaging content.

We've packed this easy-to-follow report with practical, hands-on advice, plus plenty of examples from popular, big-name web sites. You'll learn exactly why the best implementations succeed, and what mistakes to avoid.

  1. When to use Flash

    You'll see how designers at IKEA, a worldwide furniture manufacturer and retailer, made strategic choices when to Flash and when not to. For their Bobby line of bookcases, for example, they opted to display the product information in HTML, but to use Flash to demonstrate how easy it is to assemble the shelving.

  2. How to best use Flash

    Barney's, an upscale New York-based clothing retailer, chose a unique Flash implementation in an attempt to demonstrate how shopping at Barney's is "different from the rest." RIO, which makes MP3 players, tried to use Flash to show their customers how RIO's products are superior, especially since they are competing against big-name brands like Sony and Panasonic.

    We'll show you why Barney's implementation failed and RIO's succeeded, and explain the key elements for using Flash effectively.

  3. How to capitalize on Flash's strengths

    Flash's animation capabilities make it perfect for representing any information that has a time element. And it's zooming and panning capabilities make it ideal for representing spatial data. It's sub-second response time can make it great for creating applications that need quick interactions to drill into complicated databases.

    You'll see how sites like ESPN,, and Lee Jeans take advantage of Flash's capabilities.

  4. How to avoid the mistakes many Flash designers make?

    You'll see what happens when designers get too clever. We'll show you why navigation panels are the wrong choice for Flash and the situations in which HTML beats Flash hands down.

    You'll learn to avoid the mistakes that designers at Volkswagen, Aston Martin, and Gucci had to learn the hard way. (And haven't fully learned, in some cases.)

And more…

We have frame-by-frame displays of more than 20 different sites. From companies you've heard of, such as IBM, Coca-Cola, and Disney. Plus, we've got examples from sites you've probably never heard of, like, Look and Feel, and Timbuk2 Designs. You'll see the key design practices that made the best sites succeed, while others failed.

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