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Information on how to learn Flash is prevalent, but it can be frustrating to understand how to make an entire working web site using this unique technology. Here's a course that cuts through the clutter and offers practical tools for creating a dynamic web site, even for first-time developers. In Creating a First Web Site with Flash CS4 Professional, veteran Flash instructor Paul Trani simplifies the process of integrating animation, video, audio, and user interactivity to create a site that is dynamic and appealing. The goal of this hands-on workshop is to teach web site-building skills for today’s demanding interactive industry. Exercise files accompany the course.
What are your site's technical requirements? Well, the site's technical requirements are really determined by your audience. Whatever your audience has, we want to make sure our site plays well on it. So whatever computer they have, browser, whatever, internet connection, we want to make sure our site plays well with all of those specifications. For instance, we want to make sure pages appear quickly. We need to make sure that initial download is between 100- 400 kilobytes. So that is somewhat small but we want to make sure they see something within the first 5 seconds.
Now you can then have other things load as well and at the very least, we want to at least show a progress bar of the site downloading, but we need to need to show something immediately upon entering the site. Now once they see your site, we want to make sure the site fits well on standard monitors. That means standard monitors are roughly 1024 pixels wide x 768 pixels high. Now that's the monitor itself, but we need to account for the browser, the browser chrome that is. All of the buttons and trim on the browser.
So that means making our site a little smaller, roughly about 1000 pixels X 700 pixels high and then smaller from there. But don't go larger than that size unless you want to make your users scroll, which study show that really people just don't like scrolling. So put your critical content within this first viewable area, if not your whole site in that area. Next, we'll need to make sure that our site is compatible with major browsers. So that means Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. We need to make sure our site shows up in those various browsers. But what's great is that Flash sites work well across different browsers. All you need is the Flash Player.
There is about a 93% chance that users have the Flash Player installed. Most people in general do have the Flash Player installed. So in essence, we create SWF content that plays in a browser and as long as that browser has the Flash Player, they are going to be able to get the full experience of our site, which is great. So once we have these technical requirements hammered out, we can then work on the design of the site.
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