Planning an Application:
step 1: stating the purpose (goals). “What, specifically, do we want to accomplish?”
Planning an application starts with realizing the purpose/goal. It guides the development process, keeps team focused and on track, and provides a way to evaluate the application.
step 2: identifying the target audience. “Who will use our application?”
Knowing who the viewers will be helps to know who to make an application appeal to an audience. Also, it helps you develope an application that address their needs. (Ex: children like exploration & surprise so a dog wagging its tail when you scroll over it would grab the views attetion.)
step 3: determining the treatment. “What is the look and feel?”
Treatment is how it will be presented including its tone, approach, and emphasis.
Tone- will it be funny, serious, light, heavy, formal, or informal? Tone can be used to make a statement.
Approach- How much direction will be given to the reader? (Ex: a game may have animations when you scroll over them or an information application may have a lot of drop-down menus.)
Emphasis- How much emphasis will be put on different multimedia elements? (Ex: emphasis can shift from different elements such as photos instead of videos because of costs.)
step 4: developing the specifications and storyboard. “What precisely does the application include and how does it work?”
Specifications show what will be in each screen like arrangement and functionality of objects. Specifications include playback system, elements to include, and functionality.
Playback System- the choice of what configuration to target for playback is important..Internet connection speed, browser versions, screen resolution, screen size, and plug-ins.
Elements to Include- details on the elements included in the application. Such as, dimensions, frame rate, etc.
Functionality- specifics include the way the program reacts to an action by the user.
Screen Design Guidelines:
*Balance: refers to the distribution of optical weight in the layout. Optical weight is the ability of an object to attract the viewer’s eye which is determinded by the object’s size, shape, color, etc. There figure on the page shows a somewhat balanced design. It has the bright buttoms on the bottom which is balanced by the heading at the top and the icons balance against the satellite image. Overall, the image has a less formal effect than an all balanced layout would have. The type of balance you create depends on the project and audience.
*Unity: helps the screen objects reinforce each other. Two types of unity include Intra-screen unity and inter-screen unity. Intra-screen unity is how the different screen objeccts relate and how they all fit in together. An example of this is a children’s game may only use cartoon characterizations of animals for the objects including navigation buttons and sound buttons.
*Inter-screen unity: Inters-screen unity is the second type of unity. It refers to the design that viewers encounter as they navigate from one screen to another. An example of this is all the navigation buttoms are located in the same place on the screen. This gives consistency throughout the application and makes it easier to follow.
*Movement: refers to the way the viewer’s eyes move through the objects on the screen. Different objects and different animation techiques are used to draw the viewer to a location on the screen. An example of this is a photo of a waterfall that may cause the viewer’s eyes to follow the water down, especially if it is animated. Then the desginer could put a logo or sales message under the waterfall.
Interactive Design Guidelines: determines the interactivity of the application.
1)make it simple and easy to understand so that users do not have to spend time trying to learn how to work the application
2)build in consistency in the navigation scheme. Help users to find their way and not get lost on application site.
3)provide feedback. Users should know when an action bas been completed. Adding a color or sound can indicate this.
4) give the user control. Allow the user to skip long introductions. Provide controls for starting, stopping and rewinding animations/videos/audio and provide controls for adjusting audio.
1) Using Storyboards: A storyboad is a seriers of pictures that illustrate the sequence of events in an animation. Storyboards can be invaluable in the development process. They can include color images, scripts, and notations for dialog, sound effects, transitions, and movement or it can be simple black and white stick figures. Storyboards can be created uning templates or computer programs. It is a basic blueprint for the creation of the animation.
2) Rich Media Content and Accessibility: Rich media content can include animations, sound, and video. It enhances the user’s experience. But accessibility can be an issue for people with impairments therefore designers must utilize techniques to ensure accessibility. This can be done by providing consistency in navigation and layouts, labeling graphics, captioning audio content throughtout the applications and website, and providing keyboard access.
3) The Flash Workflow Process: steps that are used as guidelines in a general workflow process…
-Step 1: create and acguire the elements tobe used in the application.
-Step 2: Arrange the elements and create the animations.
-Step 3: Apply special effects.
-Step 4: Create the interactivity.
-Step 5: Test and publish the application.
4) Project Management: A project plan shoul dbe created taht provides the project scope and identifies the milestones. That includes analyzing, designing, building, testing, and launching. Also, projects are a team effort which involves collaboration of designers, developers, project managers, graphic artitst, programmers, testers, and many other people.