Understanding web design
Video: Understanding web designI would like to start off by giving you a good understanding of web design. First of all, what is web design? Well, it's all about creating visual content, placed on a web server and served through the Internet to somebody's web browser. So we need to keep in mind the context as in which this content is being shown. And I am not just talking about websites. This could be banners. This could be interactive presentations. It could be anything. The principles of web design carry across all those different types. But why a portfolio website? Well, it's all about convenience.
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Flash and ActionScript are ideal for creating flexible, easily updatable web sites that are both unique in design and small in file size. In Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional, Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani shows how to exploit Flash to create a web site that showcases work to clients and prospective employers. Find out how to add dynamic navigation, animation, and video to a page, and how to load, sort and display XML that enables portfolio content to be updated without opening Flash. This course is designed to take your existing tweening skills and gotoAndPlay code and walk away with a fully functional Flash site. Exercise files accompany the course.
- Optimizing and publishing a Flash web site
- Designing a professional photo or video portfolio
- Adding button interactivity
- Adding functionality to portfolio thumbnails
- Displaying content with XML
- Adding audio to portfolio presentations
Understanding web design
I would like to start off by giving you a good understanding of web design. First of all, what is web design? Well, it's all about creating visual content, placed on a web server and served through the Internet to somebody's web browser. So we need to keep in mind the context as in which this content is being shown. And I am not just talking about websites. This could be banners. This could be interactive presentations. It could be anything. The principles of web design carry across all those different types. But why a portfolio website? Well, it's all about convenience.
Being able to give somebody my URL and having them check out my work is the best way to pretty much get my work in front of them. And it's a great way, not only through my portfolio to show my design skills, but through the website itself, it enables me to show off my web design skills as well. But really where you want to start is with the goal of your website. So if you are making a portfolio website, what's your goal? In this case, and probably in your's, potentially, is to get a job. So I want to keep that in mind as I make decisions about my website.
And I want to develop all content around this goal of getting a job. Now, the website checklist are things I want to keep in mind as I start to design. I want to make sure that, of course, my site is available and accessible. So do I have a URL? Do I have website hosting set up? I want to make sure my site is easy to use. Does it fit on the user's screen? Are links clearly identified? Is it browser compatible? Does it download quickly? Are users able to see the content quickly? Does it deliver the information expected? Are links clearly defined? Are buttons clearly defined on what they do? And, of course, is this appropriate for the audience? If I am after a creative job, I want to make sure that my website might be as creative as possible in order for me to get that particular job or just geared toward that audience.
And, of course, I want to make sure my site is owner-friendly. So is it easy to update? That's probably the most important thing, easy to use, easy to update. But I want to keep all of these goals in mind, my personal goals as getting a job and then the user's goal, which is going to be finding out content about you. You want to keep these two things in mind as you design. And what you come up with will be based on those goals. So in this case, as you can see, there is an image in the background. This could be a portfolio piece to show off my work. I can clearly see that there's a hierarchy of information.
I know I am on John Doe's website. I can see that the copy is clearly legible, easy to read, and there is navigation as well. If this is for a, say, creative job, I can get more creative with the navigation or the content. It's all centered around what I am trying to do, in the design of the site as well as making sure it's usable for the end user.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional .
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- Q: While following along with the course, I encountered the following error in Flash CS4:
1120: Access of undefined property content_mc.What is causing this error?
- A: Flash is looking for something (the content movieclip) with the instance name “content_mc” but it is not finding it. Select the content movieclip on the stage. In the Properties panel give it an instance name of “content_mc”. Make sure there are no spaces before or after. That should resolve the error.
- Q: What is the best strategy for integrating 720/60P HD video into a website? Would creating a blank page that opens in full HD resolution be the best way to view the full quality of the HD video file?
- A: A video file that large would just be unreasonable for most users to open. These settings are a good place to start: 600x400is
Bitrate level: 1,000kbps
Bitrate Encoding: VBR These are just recommendations, and can be modified to preference. Also keep in mind that in Flash, one of the buttons that can be added is a full screen button, which is part of the skins.
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