A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Adobe Flash is a multimedia-development software system. Since its introduction in 1996, Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages; Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, and various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications. Focus_Groups A focus group is a form of qualitative research in which a group of people is asked about their attitude towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging. It is one of a series of usability and user-centered design research methods.



Accessibility and Macromedia Flash MX 2004

Macromedia Flash MX 2004 helps to accelerate accessible application development with a core set of UI components. These components can automate many of the most common accessibility practices related to labeling, keyboard access, and testing and help to ensure a consistent user experience across rich applications created with Macromedia Flash MX 2004. For each component, the designer or developer need only enable the accessibility object by using the command enableAccessibility(). This includes the accessibility object with the component as the movie is compiled. Because there is no simple means of removing an object once it has been added to the component, these options are turned off by default. It is therefore very important that the designer or developer enable accessibility for each component. This step needs to be done only once for each component; it is not necessary to enable accessibility for each instance of a component.

Adobe (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Flash


Accessibility Does Not Prevent You from Using JavaScript or Flash

A common misconception is that in order to make a website accessible you have to abstain from using JavaScript or Flash. Almost every time I hold a workshop on Web standards and accessibility there is at least one participant who believes that accessibility limits what they can do on the Web by telling them to stay away from anything that isn’t pure HTML.

Johansson, Roger. 456 Berea Street (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Flash


ActionScript 2.0 to 3.0 Migration Cheat Sheet   (PDF)

This cheat sheet covers both ActionScript 2.0 and ActionScript 3.0 and is organized to help those who need to switch to 3.0. The functions and classes of ActionScript 2.0 are to the left of each section, followed by their equivalents in ActionScript 3.0.

ActionScriptCheatSheet.com (2009). Resources>Web Design>Programming>Flash



A collection of resources for writing ActionScript programs within your Macromedia Flash projects.

ActionScript.org. Resources>Web Design>Software>Flash



If you’re an all-Flash shop that never creates a semantic HTML underpinning, it’s time to start creating HTML first—because an ever-larger number of your users are going to be accessing your site via devices that do not support Flash. That’s not Apple “zealotry.” It’s not Flash hate. It’s a recommendation to my fellow professionals who aren’t already on the accessible, standards-based design train.

Zeldman, Jeffrey. Zeldman.com (2010). Articles>Accessibility>Mobile>Flash


Basic Flash Concepts and Terms

Macromedia Flash uses a movie-making metaphor in how they define their concepts and areas of their interface. The basic terms used to describe the animation are the movie, stage and motion.

Kurtus, Ron. School for Champions (2002). Design>Web Design>Multimedia>Flash


Best Flash Animation

A collection of links to tutorials and high-quality rich media interface designs.

Best Flash Animation. Resources>Directories>Multimedia>Flash


Best Practices: Six AIR Features that May Annoy Your Users

I get to see and play with a lot of really cool AIR applications (even when they’re still being developed). Every now and then I come across an app that totally ignores any best practices or usability rules. AIR provides developers with a lot of features that could potentially annoy users if not used wisely. I thought it was a good idea to write this article. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use these features, I just want you to think about them before you add them to your application.

Jespers, Serge. Web Kitchen (2008). Articles>Web Design>Multimedia>Flash


Better Flash Websites

Alhough Flash has some intrinsic usability problems, designers can respect user expectations about consistency, accessibility, and common sense, and therefore make better Flash websites.

Baker, Adam. Merges.net (2001). Design>Multimedia>Interactive>Flash


Bring on Rich Media   (PDF)   (members only)

Technical communicators must adapt to the changing dynamics presented by the addition of rich media in the technical documentation space. Discover some suggestions for how to do so.

Ortega, Dan. Intercom (2008). Articles>Documentation>Multimedia>Flash


Build a Creative "Swirl Animated Menu" with Flash CS4

Flash. It’s a powerful application and can be really complex, but even beginners can create a cool menu for demonstration or for use in a personal site. The menu that we will create is simple, but the swirl animation is something that you don’t see everywhere, for that I’ve decided to explain one way to make an animation of growing swirls without any Action Script code.You will also learn how to import artwork from illustrator where I’ve pre-made the graphics, the work is very simple and the result will be very cool.

Santos, Mario. Tech Labs, The (2009). Resources>Tutorials>Interaction Design>Flash


Building Preloaders and Progress Bars in Macromedia Flash

One of the unique features of web content built with Macromedia Flash is the ability to control when and how the content loads. When loading a heavy HTML page, the user is usually stuck looking at a blank window until the content starts appearing. Flash allows for the creation of animated preloaders, which give the user precise information about the progress of the loading process. A simple rectangular progress bar or percentage indicator will do the job, but why stop there? A preloader should be given just as much love and consideration as the rest of the site content, especially on a site that is trying to evoke a mood, or create an immersive experience. If a preloader is engaging enough, the user won't mind waiting for content, and the time it takes to load will seem shorter. The preloader is the first element someone will see when visiting your site. You can make a good first impression by welcoming your visitors with a snappy preloader.

Hirsch, Joshua. Adobe (2005). Design>Web Design>Interactive>Flash


Building with Flash and MySQL

Building a blog is cool, but building a blog with Flash, MySQL, and PHP is so much cooler. Scott guides you through two days of coding and querying.

Gilbertson, Scott. Webmonkey (2003). Design>Web Design>Server Side Includes>Flash


Can Flash Be Saved?

Some people thought Firefox was going to fail because of these broken links. Just like Adobe is trying to say that Apple’s iPad is going to fail because of its own set of broken links. But just a few years later and have you seen a site that doesn’t work on Firefox? I haven’t. Can Adobe save Flash? No. But Google can.

Scoble, Robert. Scobleizer (2010). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Flash


Captions for Video with Flash CS3

In the exercise that follows, and in the second part of this series, we are going to add captions, using both methods, to the same video. For those passionate about web standards, the first method involves the use of Timed Text captions. If you go this route, you need to follow the standard laid out by the W3C. There is a lot to it but, in a nutshell, it requires you to create a specific type of XML document using the required tags.

Green, Tom. Digital Web Magazine (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Flash


Captions for Video with Flash CS3 (Part Two)

In this article, we’re going to look at a method of captioning a Flash video file: embedding the XML directly into the FLV file. In very simple terms, the XML document will contain the cue points for the captions. When one of those cue points is reached, the caption appears over the video.

Green, Tom. Digital Web Magazine (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Flash


Comparison of Flash and Director

Only six years ago the web did not support graphics and CD-ROM based games asked users if they had 4Mb of memory on their computer with possible hard drive space of 20Mb to play any games. Today, oh heck, that seems archaic.

David, Matthew. School for Champions (2002). Design>Web Design>Multimedia>Flash


Connecting Macromedia Flash and PHP

Many web developers rely heavily on a popular combination of open source software to develop and deploy their websites and applications. This combination is often known as LAMP—an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. In this article, you will use a LAMP environment to create a PHP-based Rich Internet Application.

Hall, Robert M. Adobe (2004). Design>Web Design>Server Side Includes>Flash


Create Powerful Flash Applications With Shared Objects

Shared objects allow for data persistence in Flash applications, like cookies do in Web pages. Learn to leverage shared objects to create more robust apps.

David, Jean-Luc. Builder.com (2003). Design>Multimedia>Software>Flash


Creating a Dynamic Playlist for Streaming Flash Video

As developers, we are often bogged down with mundane tasks such as site maintenance and updates. Until now, if we wanted to pass these tasks on to clients or colleagues who are not tech-savvy, we had to develop sophisticated interfaces to simplify the process for them and to give them easy access to the data. But now, XML is changing that reality.

Larson, Lisa. Adobe (2004). Design>Web Design>Streaming>Flash


Creating a Video From Still Images  (link broken)

In the following steps, Engine Three explains how to capture and export frames from Premiere, clean them up in Photoshop, and finally assemble them in LiveMotion.

Adobe (2003). Design>Multimedia>Video>Flash


Creating Accessible Flash

Macromedia Flash is a vector-based, interactive animation creation program designed to enable the addition of dynamic characters, scenes, interfaces and motion graphics animations to Web sites. Macromedia Flash materials are created using the Flash authoring program, the most recent version of which is Flash MX.

WebAIM (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Flash


Creating Accessible Sites in Flash

With the features incorporated into Flash CS4, designers may create fully-accessible online multimedia. This presentation introduces how.

Adobe (2010). Presentations>Multimedia>Accessibility>Flash


Creating an Accessible Animated Presentation in Flash  (link broken)

Since the publication of the animated presentation Creating Accessible Sites in Flash for the Adobe Accessibility Resource Center, we've been thrilled to see an overwhelming response from people requesting more details about the presentation itself and how it was made. In this article, I discuss some of the necessary steps to take when making a SWF-based presentation accessible. I also provide you with a behind-the-scenes look and share some code examples that we used to make this presentation.

Eaton, Thea. Adobe (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Accessibility>Flash


Creating Events Using the EventDispatcher Class  (link broken)

Handle Flash events more efficiently in your code by using the event listener object model.

Toley, Kenneth J. III. Adobe (2004). Design>Web Design>Interactive>Flash



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