flash development

The little program that could

First and most importantly, Macromedia Flash™ is not just for animation anymore. Each new version of Flash offers more powerful programming ability and greater functionality, increasing the potential for user interactivity so that it can now be used to create its own applications or to serve as the front end for applications created in other programming environments, such as Java. It can incorporate text, graphics, sound, video, and interactivity to provide a truly absorbing Internet experience.

Another major advantage of Flash is that it offers consistency of display and functionality on different platforms and in different browsers. A large majority of users already have the plugin — see Macromedia's statistics for Flash penetration — and for those who need to install or upgrade, the process is quick and easy.

In addition, Flash movies are not limited to use in the browser, but can be used in standalone applications such as the BlueBolt for Design Education CD created by Designshift for BlueBolt Networks and Prentice-Hall.

While some Flash movies can be very large and take time to download and play in the browser, this is not intrinsic to Flash but is normally due to the number and size of the images used or to the sound files embedded in the movie. Flash itself is actually very efficient and specializes in offering significant content in a small file size. An excellent example is the Designshift Sketchpad which packages real drawing capability in an amazingly small 8KB movie. (By comparison, the small image of sunglasses above is about 5KB.)

Make an impact

Designshift has been building Flash solutions for more than three years and has produced multimedia demos and interactive experiences used by Dell, Unisys, IBM, Sony Ericsson, GlaxoSmithKline, and more. The Flash educational modules and children's activities created for GlaxoSmithKline were an integral part of the Genetics@GSK website that won Macromedia Site of the Day for July 17, 2002. Samples of Designshift Flash work can be seen in our Portfolio.

We are especially excited by the potential offered by using video in Flash projects, as in this proof of concept adaptation of a Caterpillar® video. For some messages nothing works better than video and video works better in Flash. You can learn more about it and see some samples in the On Point article, Video in Flash, and in our new section, Online Video.

If you are planning a project that will incorporate the impressive capabilities of Flash or if you would simply like to discuss the possibilities, please contact Designshift.

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