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Flash for the masses

07.10.08   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Tech   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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This could be a gift from the gods or the devil himself depending on your point of view. We’ve found a few sites like Ultrashock and Flash Den offering prepackaged pieces of flash functionality you can customize to varying degrees, that are for the most part fairly simple to implement.
While these are certainly not the end all and be all of flash development, and in our opinion don’t really qualify as a design solutions (since they won’t make your type, color palette layout, or photography any better), they are certainly useful for many light weight flash tricks applications. If per say, you want an easily to update xml driven slideshow, you’d be foolish to hire a developer with programs like Slideshow Pro and Autoviewer available for less than $50.
In fact we think this sets the bar higher for innovative flash development, because if you want to do something ground breaking it’s going to have to go beyond what you can buy for the cost of a power lunch. We long for the day this kind of functionality gets incorporated into flash itself, because a lot of these ideas look like the equivalent of a filter, tool, or palette you’d find in CS3. It makes design all that much more important, because once cool flash tricks become off the shelf solutions, you can get back to the little things like usability and visual narrative. We’re just sayin.
As a note, you can’t get a program to do good typography (which for our money will make or break you as a good designer), but we caught some of Lynda.com’s typographic principles, and they we’re pretty much exactly what we (and Lynda) got in Type 1 at Art Center.

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