After Flash Forward

We just finished up our Flash Forward session. If you were watching I would love to hear feedback (just leave a comment or send me an e-mail).

Here are links to the projects we showed or talked about:

And if you couldn’t make it, Brandie posted some pictures.

UPDATE: Here’s the presentation in PDF format. (44MB)

MTV Movie Awards, new software, and Flash Forward

Talk about a busy month! I’ve been completely swamped with work on the MTV Movie awards website. I also upgraded my Powerbook to Tiger (that would be Apple’s OS X 10.4 for the non-nerds). Everything went very smooth and no hiccups or anything.

I also installed Adobe’s CS2 suite, and am enjoying the look and feel of the new apps, although I haven’t had much time to explore many of the new features. One small note as far as that goes: The Chopping Block did a bunch of work on sample files and other things for the CS2 release, including my FlashObject code hiding out in the Web Photo Galleries that use Flash.

And last but not least: I’ll be speaking at the next Flash Forward in New York on July 6th to the 8th. I’m sharing a session with Matthew (one of the owners of The Chopping Block) that will be a sort of Chopping Block retrospective with our technical secrets mixed in. Most likely it will be lots of talk about Flash and the role it has played over the last 10 years or so, and where Flash will be going in the near future, and how to use it effectively. Translation: lots of talk about hybrid XHTML/Flash websites and using Javscript (FlashObject) to embed your Flash movies.

XM Radio Online v2.0 launches, now with AJAX!

XM Radio Online v2.0 is up. This was a complete rebuild of the UI and a nice overhaul to the back-end as well. Unlike the previous version, the UI is now mostly Javascript using xmlHttpRequest (that’s AJAX if you follow the trendy names for these things) for the channel/song data updates. There’s still a few small Flash movies for displaying the presets and the current song data.

Here’s a screenshot of the new player:

XM Radio Online Player v2.0

This new version should be much more accessible and easier to use, and also takes up fewer system resources, so people who want to tune in a channel and leave it playing in the background while they work should be happier.

This was an excellent project to work on – while I’ve done quite a bit of DHTML/Javascript work in the past, I’ve never used it as a base for an entire application. This was also the first time I used xmlHttpRequest, but I found that applying my Flash knowledge to the AJAX model worked out great – the only tricky part was figuring out a few browser inconsistencies and working around those.

If you want to check it out, you can sign up for a free 3 day trial. redesign launched

I mentioned that the iVillage entertainment section soft-launched a couple of weeks ago, well now the full site is up and kicking (complete with horrid full screen ads to skip before viewing the front page).

It was a very… ehm… colorful project to work on :). As mentioned in my other post, the site is XHTML 1.0 transitional with CSS used for layout, with a little Flash content peppered in there for some extra flavor. More and more of the sites we are working on these days entail an XHTML/CSS layout and then a few Flash movies embedded around in various locations to spice things up a bit, and I have to say it’s working out great. I really think a lot more designers will go in the direction of hybrid sites rather than the old full Flash site or straight HTML in the coming year.

Another thing to note is the validation problem. It seems that most of the problems (if not all) stem from a few sloppy Javascript embeds and unencoded ampersands that were added in by the iVillage development team. Unfortunately with the way the site was developed – doing the design and template coding first, then integrating those files with the content management system – and without someone on the development side constantly cracking the validation whip, I suppose these things are bound to happen.

Anyway, enjoy the site: