Interface Design Considerations

Created by Amanda Kern

It's time to discuss the factors you should be thinking about before hitting the ground running in Flash. Take a moment to review these factors so that you are better prepared to develop an interactive interface in Flash.

Publish Settings

When we create interactive projects we have to be sure we know how to save files and understand all options we have in Flash's publish settings. Let's take a closer look, we'll start with how we access publish settings.

properties inspector

The first dialogue box you'll see is "formats". Let's see what options we have available in the "formats" menu.

formats

NOTE: For stand alone applications where the Flash player is not needed you may choose a projector file for Mac or PC from the "formats" section.

We also have settings specifically for our Flash File. Here are the main options you will find useful.

flash

A Flash project isn't much good if we don't have a way to place it in a web page. There are other tools such as Dreamweaver, however, we can do some of the same features directly from Flash. Let's look at how we can adjust html page properties for our Flash file.

html

NOTE: For the html properties to be used you must have chosen to export the "html" file from the "formats" section.

Active X causes havoc for Flash designers

So we've spent all this time learning how to use Flash and now is the time to tell you that without this knowledge I'm about to share that it's possible that your user may never see your Flash project. Why? It's about a feature called Active X used in Microsoft's internet explorer browser. Microsoft was found to have infringed on the copyright of a company named EOLAS who had a patent on how embedded interactive programs were displayed in an internet browser. Microsoft has been using the technology since the 90's and their fix to the situation was to change the way that Active X was displayed in an internet browser. What happens? Well, nothing. The user must interact with the flash element to "activate" it. Without activating the flash element nothing happens on the user's end. Why does this matter to us as flash designers? It's important we are aware of the issue so that when it comes time to work on Flash projects we can implement Flash so it is viewable. Active X only effects the <object> and <embed> tags. Many web developers have worked diligently on work arounds to this problem. It's worth taking some time to further educate your self about the issue with the following resources:

Full Screen Flash

Another nice feature you might be interested in for Flash projects are some of the full screen features. Many online resources provide great tutorials for you to learn more: