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Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5

Understanding web design


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Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5

with Paul Trani

Video: Understanding web design

I'd like to start off by giving you good overview of web design. So web design at a high level is the design of online content, regardless of what that content is. In this case it happens to be a web site. And a web site should really do a couple of things. It should achieve your specific business goals and it should be well organized and easy to use. So just keep in mind the user has goals as well. When it comes to your web site goals, you need to of course figure that out. Is it to inform or kind of tell about yourself or your services? Is it to sell something? Is it to connect with potential clients? It could be all of those things, but clearly define what those goals are and then any decisions you make should be made based on those goals.

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Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5
2h 45m Beginner Jul 27, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5 shows how to make a fully functional, dynamic web site in Flash Professional CS5. This course covers the fundamentals of creating and importing content, adding smooth 2D and 3D transitions, and adding button functionality that goes beyond links. This course will also show how to integrate and control video and audio as well as how to implement a gallery and a contact form. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding web design
  • Creating buttons and web graphics in Photoshop
  • Formatting text with the Text Layout Framework
  • Using the Timeline
  • Creating a custom looping animation
  • Loading images in a gallery
  • Creating invisible buttons
  • Adding music and video to a site
  • Customizing video playback controls
  • Optimizing and publishing a web site
Subjects:
Web Interaction Design Projects
Software:
Flash Professional Illustrator
Author:
Paul Trani

Understanding web design

I'd like to start off by giving you good overview of web design. So web design at a high level is the design of online content, regardless of what that content is. In this case it happens to be a web site. And a web site should really do a couple of things. It should achieve your specific business goals and it should be well organized and easy to use. So just keep in mind the user has goals as well. When it comes to your web site goals, you need to of course figure that out. Is it to inform or kind of tell about yourself or your services? Is it to sell something? Is it to connect with potential clients? It could be all of those things, but clearly define what those goals are and then any decisions you make should be made based on those goals.

The result ultimately is going to be the content for your web site. So in this example I might have Jill Simons who is interested ultimately in gaining more clients. So she might start selling herself, talking about her education, her experience, show off some of her work, and of course give users the ability to get in touch with her. So the next step is keeping in mind the users' goals, because they want it to be easy and intuitive. A simple to navigate site, which has clearly to use navigation, everything is really buttoned up, and they want it to be easy, with minimal clicks to get at their next destination.

So result is going to be all of the web content in a site map form. So back to our example, we might have, again, the URL, people come through to the homepage and from the homepage or from any page for that matter, they can get to any other page, and there might be some other external links as well, but again, simplicity is the key here. Some additional design considerations. You do want to clear hierarchy of information. You want the title potentially at the top or at least larger than everything else.

You don't want information fighting with one another, but a clear flow of information is really important. Next, you definitely want your navigation grouped logically and in a really clean sort of easy to use way. And then also, if you have any hyperlinks, you want to clearly differentiate those from the content or the text itself. The result is really going to be the web design. So here's the design. As you can see, it has a hierarchy of information. I know this is Jill's site. She is a graphic designer. I can read more about her. My navigation is nested at the top, really easy to use.

And then also, I can clearly see that the content is off in the center point, where we have other content up at the top as well, which happens to be our buttons. So everything flows pretty nicely. So there are also some technical considerations you need to keep in mind as well. Well, quite frankly, can everybody find the web site? So the first thing you need to do is really register a URL and make sure you have a web site hosting plan potentially for your web site, and once the site is uploaded at this URL, you need to make sure that everyone can see this content.

So do they have maybe a newer browser with the Flash Player? Luckily, so many people have the Flash Player this is hardly an issue, but it's definitely of note. All right! So once they arrive at your site, you need to determine and make sure your content fits nicely on that page. So we want to go ahead and take the browser and subtract all the chrome from it and what we get is sort of a canvas size or a document size, if you will, of 1000 pixels wide by about 600 pixels high.

So within those dimensions, I can go ahead and make sure my design fits nice and neat, and it will be ready to go. To conclude, you want to keep in mind all of your business goals and your users' goals, as far as what they're trying to do, and of course your technical requirements as well. Do all that and your site should be good to go.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5.


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Q: I followed all the steps and suggestions in the "Adding a progress bar" video, but when I add the progress bar to my web site, I can’t remove it once the index.swf file loads up. The progress bar remains on the homepage and the rest of the pages. How do I make it disappear once the site loads?
A: To make it disappear, just make sure the progress bar is only in frame 1. If it’s on its own layer, then right-click on the 2nd frame in that same layer and select "Insert Blank Keyframe." That will make it disappear.
Q: Despite following the steps in the "Adding a progress bar" video, I cannot figure out how to keep the progress bar from appearing on a movie that has finished loading. How can I make the progress bar disappear?
A: Just add the red line below to the preloader.fla file. This will make the progress bar invisible: 
"function contentLoaded(evt:Event):void { //Optionally change to a clip holder and set progressbar visibility. addChild(contentLoader); progressbar.visible = false; }"
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