Flazoom.com Featured Reviews
For links to Flazoom.com Featured Reviews, please click here.
RIAs that Work (a series based on my UI8 Conference presentation)
There are four types of RIAs that I featured in my Spotlight presentation at the User Interface 8 Conference for their ROI potential for developers. This series of articles on RIAs that Work defines these types of RIAs and presents collected ROI statistics from each type of RIA. If you are looking at how to sell RIAs to your clients, then these articles are for you. The ROI data that I included in the presentation was gathered from a couple of sources, the main one being the IDC white paper on RIAs available from the Macromedia web site. The RIA types covered in this series include:
  1. Configurators
  2. Simplified Forms
  3. Product Finders
  4. Application RIAs
Posted between October 21st and October 25th, 2003
Running from Bears (The DevCon 2002 Presentation)
This past month at Macromedia's DevCon 2002 I presented a talk based on my article "What would Wal-Mart Do?" While the beginning and end of the presentation are straight from the article, I updated the middle. The new content takes another look at what Flash developers can learn by looking at the success of Wal-Mart, the most successful company in America. How can we learn from Wal-Mart and turn that into more usable Flash content with a better experience for our users.

This three part article, Running from Bears, is the result of that thought process. It serves as a compliment to the original Wal-Mart article and offers my latest thoughts on one of the most pressing questions that we need to ask ourselves about using Flash; when is it best for the user?

Posted on November 20, 2002
Flash: The User's Best Friend?
Last week I got an interesting request for a Featured Review on Flazoom.com. Macromedian Mike Chambers asked me to take a look at Macromedia's proof-of-concept Pet Market application and review it for usability concerns.

Macromedia and the design firm Popular Front have crafted a very elegant interface for the Pet Market application that extends the user's interactions past what is normally expected on the Internet. Overall, the Pet Market application is a great example of how Flash can improve the user's experience on the web.

Posted on June 19, 2002
What would Wal-Mart Do?
Imagine that Wal-Mart just opened a new store, close to your house, with a shopping experience similar to that of the typical Flash site on the Internet. Would you shop there? Are you asking your visitors to sit through a bad experience and then scratching your head as your Flash content fails?

In the latest Flazoom.com editorial "What Would Wal-Mart Do?" Chris MacGregor explains that there is much we can learn about Flash and our users by looking to retail giant Wal-mart and what exactly an interaction designer is.

Posted on October 29th, 2001
Are You Designing For Your Eyes Only?
I am convinced that Flash designers have vision that is far superior to ordinary people. Vision so powerful that 8 pixel tall bitmap typefaces on a low contrast background do not present a problem for reading. This has lead to Flash developers designing incredible interfaces that half the people on the web can not read.

In this Flazoom.com article on Flash usability, "Are You Designing For Your Eyes Only?," Chris MacGregor takes a look at four areas that Flash developers should consider when designing usable and legible Flash content; type, contrast, color and motion.

Posted on September 26, 2001
The Keys to Improving Flash Usability
When designing Flash content for the web or as a (stand-alone) projector there is an input devise that most Flash developers never consider. This device already helps to improve the usability of applications on our computers, so why can't it improve our Flash content too?
Find out what this mysterious input device is, and how to integrate it into your Flash projects in this article from Chris MacGregor, author of the Macromedia white paper "Developing User-Friendly Flash Content."
Posted on August 3, 2001
Macromedia Design a Site for Usability Contest Winners
This morning at the Macromedia User Conference in New York City two very talented Flash developers each won an Apple Powerbook G4 as first place entries in the Design a Site for Usability Contest. See both winning entries plus 18 other finalists in Flazoom.com's coverage of the contest and Chris MacGregor's experiences as a judge in our special report.
Posted on April 10, 2001
Developing User-Friendly Flash Content
The Macromedia White Paper on Flash Usability
The original intent of this white paper was to provide Macromedia Flash developers with the knowledge necessary to create user-friendly Macromedia Flash experiences on the Web. The need for this paper has never been more crucial, since many of the most vocal Web critics have recently portrayed Macromedia Flash content in a negative light. The claims that Macromedia Flash content is bad for the Web or that Macromedia Flash and usability are polar opposites are both myths.
For the past year Chris MacGregor has been uncovering ways to make Flash a more user friendly part of the web. This paper is the result of the investigation, testing and discovery into how Flash can be more user friendly. It is presented here on Flazoom.com in HTML format, or you can download a PDF from Macromedia.com.
Posted on April 6, 2001
SF/FlashForward2001 Wrap-Up Coverage
Couldn't make it to FF2001 in San Francisco? Over 2000 Flash developers did, and we had a great time! From the opening announcement of the Flash Usability contest to the Radiskul and Devil Doll presentation at the end, FF2001 was an event that will not be soon forgotten. Read our conference wrap-up report and see what you missed from the best FlashForward conference yet!
Posted on February 26, 2001
Flash: 99% Proof
For the past week I have read Jakob Nielsen's Flash alertbox over and over again and came to a startling revelation. It seems that Jakob got the title all-wrong. Flash is not 99% bad, as the usability guru says... Flash is 99% Proof, as in alcohol.
In his latest editorial for Flazoom.com, Chris MacGregor takes Flash developers to task for their reckless use of Flash. Chris explains why Flash developers have made such poorly usable content, and what they can do to fix it. Sober up and read on...
Posted on January 11, 2001
Attention Macromedia: I Will not be Your Scapegoat
Last Friday Rob Burgess, CEO of Macromedia, placed the blame for bad Flash content on the shoulders of the designers and developers using Flash. As Burgess put it, "That [bad Flash on the web] is not the problem of the tool. That's the problem of the designer." OK, sure I can agree with that, Macromedia is not creating Flash content for clients. Macromedia is certainly no more responsible for bad Flash content than Smith & Wesson is for deaths caused by guns, right?
Wrong. Read Chris MacGregor's editorial on why Macromedia deserves blame for bad Flash on the web, and what we as designers can do to fix it.
Posted on November 1, 2000
Bake Cookies for your Visitors with Flash
Have you ever wanted to harness the power of cookies in your Flash movies? What about writing information to cookies from Flash? Maybe you just wanted to start using Flash smarter. If so, check out the latest editorial from Flazoom.com, Bake Cookies for your Visitors with Flash. In this article you will find out the benefits of integrating cookies into your Flash movies and, in a related tutorial, you can learn how.
Posted on August 21, 2000
Flash from FlashForward in NYC
Three days and two nights of Flash and fun were had by all at FlashForward2000 in New York City. Read the three part coverage that was sent out daily from the Conference to subscribers of Flazoomerang! The Flazoom.com newsletter.
Posted on July 31, 2000
Making Sure Usability 'Fitts' Flash
In Making Sure Usability 'Fitts' Flash, Chris MacGregor shows Flash designers how to apply simple laws governing interface design to improve the user experience in their Flash files. Flash designers have much to gain from understanding the applications of Fitt's Law. Illustrated with sample Flash files!
Posted on July 10, 2000
Hey Flasher, Stop Abusing your Visitors
Flazoom.com's second editorial on Flash, Hey Flasher, Stop Abusing your Visitors takes a look at improving usability and integrating Flash better into web sites. Once again, lots of great links and best yet, something to think about while you are designing your next Flash site.
Posted on June 20, 2000
World Internet Animation Competition Winners Announced
Shockwave.com has announced the winners of the World Internet Animation Competition. The contest, held in conjunction with the annual World Animation Celebration, was open to original animated productions in Shockwave, Flash, QuickTime, Pulse or Windows Media formats. Artists submitted more than 650 entries in ten categories. View the list of winners on Flazoom.com.
Posted on June 8, 2000
A Cancer on the Web called Flash
Flazoom.com's first editorial on Flash, A Cancer on the Web called Flash features Publisher Chris MacGregor pulls on the gloves to do battle for the future of Flash on the web. Lots of great links to articles and enough ranting to settle Chris down for a few days. Check it out.
Posted on June 1, 2000