Flash and Web Design

I have discovered a desire to not only design things to look pretty, but also function practically. Somewhere along this persuit of creativity I have become fond of the way programming functions logically. This culmination of form and logic has moved me to a love of Flash and Web Design—namely the programming that goes behind the scenes. I am working up to the level of “Code Nazi” when it comes to Actionscript and HTML. I get a bit anal with how my code is generated. I don’t trust layout programs such as GoLive or Dreamweaver to write all my code. Although, I must admit they are getting better with newer versions.

Flash and Actionscript

Actionscript has come such a long way from the beginnings. My first version of Flash was v4. I quickly upgraded to Flash 5 when it came out. Actionscript was crude and had no real standards. It couldn’t do a whole lot. Many people learned bad habits that I still see today. One of my biggest pet-peves of these habits is the attaching code to a button or movieclip using old depracated code to deliver an action.

As my learning of Actionscript continued, I learned some standards and good practices. I pushed myself to learn Actionscript 2.0. I had gotten pretty comfortable with this 2.0 language. When Actionscript 3.0 came out I became so involved with other projects that I only dabbled in it here and there. I simply kept with what I knew. And that worked for me. Now, I see more and more the benefits of using the robust 3.0 language (it parsing upwards of ten times faster than 2.0 in many cases), it time for me to buckle down and learn the strict yet robust coding of this language. I know I will benefit from it in the future if I do.

I never used to see myself as a developer nor programmer. I am a designer that knows code. This is how many Flashers have flourished. As Flash has progressed it has attracted more developers, but without good design it doesn’t live up to what the viewer designers to use. It takes both strong design and programming development to really come up with something useful.

I have seen way too many Flash sites out there where the functionality simply makes no logical sense. Sure many sites look ok and are fun to play around with, but where is the practicality behind them? This seems to be the concensus on pieces entered in Communication Art’s last year’s Interactive Annual competition. They simply are not practical in “real world” application.