10 Flash Design and Development Tips Part 1

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Categories: Adobe Flash

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Since my articles with 10 tips seem to do quite well and get positive feedback. Why not keep on going? Today, I’ll talk about 10 Tips for Flash Design and Flash Development.

UPDATE: BE SURE TO CHECK OUT PART 2 

1 – Don’t Restrict Yourself
Just because you don’t know the program well, doesn’t mean you should paint yourself into a box. The tips for a great web design also apply to flash design. click here for part 1 and part 2 of web design tips

2 – Don’t Use the Graphic Symbol Type
The Movie Clip Symbol Type does everything a graphic can do and more. There is almost no reason to use a Graphic.

3 – Set the frame rate to 31 fps
I’ve been taught in school by a professional that 31 fps is the best framerate for Flash because different operating systems have discrepancies when it comes to Flash framerate, a framerate of 31 instead of 30 would mean less difference when your Flash file is displayed cross-platform. And for the love of god, please dont’ leave it at the default.

4 – Test on slower CPUs
Typically, if you’re the kind of guy that does a lot of design or web work, you’ve got a machine with a decent amount of muscle on it. Just because your computer can run your .swf file flawlessly, doesn’t mean that others will as well. Test your site on what you think the lowest common denominator will be.

5 – Use SWFObject
SWFObject is used to integrate your .swf into the browser without having Internet Explorer 7 paint a disgusting border around it. For more information on SWFObject, I’ve written a brief summary here.

6 – Suffix Items In Your Library
Your movie clip names should end with _mc and your dynamic text fields in _txt. It makes life easier when you’re typing up Actionscript.

7 – Use Fuse Kit
Fuse Kit is an animation library that makes tweening through actionscript easy and gorgeous. See the website over at MosesSupposes.

8 – Apply Ease To All Tweening
Ease is what’s used to accelerate or decelerate tweens. Adjusting these accelerations for each tween will be noticeable and make your Flash look more elegant and professional.

9 – Apply Feathered or Anti-Aliased Masks
These masks help you stray away from the normally boxy looking masks. Apply these types of masks in moderation as they do eat up CPU.

10 – Know That Not All People Love Flash
Not everyone wants to sit down for 30 seconds and watch a Flash intro you’ve made. Know that Flash sometimes has to be kept short and sweet. Keep your animations and your overall flow relatively quick.

That’s all for now. Hope that helps. :)

 UPDATE: BE SURE TO CHECK OUT PART 2

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7 Responses to “10 Flash Design and Development Tips Part 1”

  1. Scottsdale Web Design Says:

    number 10 is a HUGE one. Repeat visitors don’t want to sit there for two minutes to watch your flash movie every time, and a lot of first time visitors don’t as well. If you are going to have a flash intro movie, ALWAYS have a bypass link. I strongly recommend not having audio auto start w/o the user clicking on something, that will get more visitors mad at you then you would probably expect. Thanks for the post, great tips.

  2. Patrick Burt Says:

    Thanks for the comment m8! BTW, nice portfolio site. :)

  3. Matthew Says:

    Actually be wary of point 2. The graphic object does have one advantage as, in the IDE, it reflects the timelines of children clips, whereas movieclips only show the first frame. Very useful when developing complicated animations.

    Can always change them to MovieClips later though :)

    Also on pint 6. Dont add a suffix in the library, do it when you instantiate them. doing it in the library itself just clutters the library, and you can ways sort by type anyway.

  4. Joanne Says:

    One other point to make. Don’t use Flash for the sake of using it. If the site is better suited with html. Use html! Know the audience and the plugins they have. Many people or businesses don’t have flash installed. You can always make a sexy site with css that’s accessible.

  5. Patrick Says:

    Good post Patrick. I’ve also heard that 31 fps is the optimal choice.

  6. Patrick Burt Says:

    Thanks guys.

    @Matthew, I’ll do some research. As for the library, good call.
    @Joanne, thanks I’ll include that in the newest version. :)
    @Patrick, cheers :)

  7. best flash design Says:

    Doesn’t it take up a lot of time to keep your blog so interesting ?