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Posts by Author: Carlos Real

Flash, Flex & Ajax – How do they compare?

Posted by    |   December 5th, 2008   |   No responses

Hey there, well, it was my turn at our traditional In-House Knowledge Share this month and as one of the designers at Insight, one of my activities is to keep current on new technologies and trends. I wanted to explore the three most popular rich interactive applications at the moment; Flash, Flex and Ajax, and learn their benefits and disadvantages so that we can provide our clients and their users the best possible solution. So without further a do, I've dissected them hoping to get everyone to draw their own conclusions. FLASH: Adobe Flash (previously called Shockwave Flash and Macromedia Flash) is a set of multimedia software created by Macromedia and currently developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. Since its introduction in 1996, Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages; Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, and various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications. Flash can manipulate vector and raster graphics and supports bi-directional streaming of audio and video. It contains a scripting language called ActionScript. Several software products, systems, and devices are able to create or display Flash content, including Adobe Flash Player, which is available for most common web browsers, some mobile phones and other electronic devices (using Flash Lite). The Adobe Flash Professional multimedia authoring program is used to create content for the Adobe Engagement Platform, such as web applications, games and movies, and content for mobile phones and other embedded devices. Macromedia Flash Development Process
  • Design an application interface using any visual design sofware package such as Freehand, Illustrator, Fireworks or even Flash itself.
  • Add dynamic behavior (one part of the application interacting with another, for example) and interactive behavior (what happens when a button is clicked for example)
  • Define and connect to data services as needed(XML)
  • Publish the file and embed it on an html if it is for the Web. Or create a self contained movie if the application is for CD/hard drive use.

Adobe Flash Player is cur

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ID’s new look and how it came to be.

Posted by    |   September 16th, 2008   |   No responses

Hey there, my name is Carlos Real and I am one of the designers here at Insight Designs. Over the last few weeks we’ve been complimented about ID’s new look and asked about its concept and how it came to be. So here it is:

First and foremost, Insight Designs is a fun place to be, where -- as Beth mentions two blog entries down -- “work-hard-play-hard” is an ethos. We wanted our website, which is ultimately our business card and highest-profile marketing tool, to capture our essence. Thus, the bright colors, the simplicity in structure and the Jack-in-the-Box theme.

I wanted our site to have some depth and volume as opposed to being 2 dimensional. So we immediately thought of using our 3D modeling and animation skills to accomplish this.

As for how I came up with the boxes, well, they are full of surprises. And that’s the line that kept on surfacing every time when trying to describe our design process. I though of things every kid (chronological and at heart) in the world likes: circuses, carnivals, animals, fairs... but one idea kept springing up (pun intended) and that was the Jack-in-the-Box. I don’t know of anyone that resists the urge to turn the crank if presented with one. They are fun -- just like us. They make you giddy with anticipation - just like our first design rounds. And they are surprising -- just like our solutions and final delivery.

The next step was to build and animate the boxes in 3D. We had four categories -- Our Faces, Our Services, Our Company, and Our Work. Each box was to have a signature “Jack” that would pop out representing the category in a simple yet fun way. For example, Our Faces pops a “Jack” of masks and a locket to display our actual faces. The “Jack” for Our Services became a hammer to symbolize our strength with back-end applications, a painter’s palette for creativity and a Swiss Army Knife as a symbol of our flexibility and resourcefulness. Next we created a scale representation of the building that houses our office including the Ben & Jerry’s awnings for the Our Company "Jack". Finally, the “Jack” for Our Work became a collection of our websites displayed within frames as works of art. Some truly belong in a gallery if I do say so myself!

Anyway, after a bit of tinkering with the aesthetics, the rest is history. Our new website was built, content was written, pictures were taken, websites were chronologically and alphabetically showcased, everything was tested and retested, and the site was launched. I know I speak from everyone here at Insight –- even Java, when I say that we are damn proud of it, but already thinking about how to make it better for next time!

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