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Thread: Scalability?

  1. #1
    Senior Citizen phacker's Avatar
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    Scalability?

    How many people out there try to design with the scalability of Flash in mind, and how many fight it by forcing sized popups, etc..? One of the reasons I got totally absorbed in Flash was the scalability of the end product. How do you feel about it? I realize this particular forum seems to get immersed in Photoshop, but this is Flashkit. When I design I try to balance components so that no matter the aspect or scaling the basic composition is still balanced. Sometimes my text (fonts) vary according to resolution, but in the end run, I'd rather my viewers no matter what format: Desktop with a large monitor, or Laptop with a tiny screen, could still see my total design.

  2. #2
    Planet Claire Embassator herr_dada's Avatar
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    the scalability of Flash is like a love/hate relationship. Is great to be able to make the use of the user's res, but you have to expect it to be slower in high res. Personally i'm into the clean (only the program bar and the status bar) and a non sizeable window.
    I'm so fashion, everytime I fart, Prada releases a new fragance!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Black_phoenix's Avatar
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    Hi, i tend to force it to a set size (jpegs also distort if resized) if its just vector based you can get away with it

    as u say the viewer is the foremost importance, some still run 640 x 480, most run 800 x 600 or bigger also there is what browser u are using etc netscape 3/4/5/6 ie....

    i suppose at the end of the day u build sites depending on the clients brief, most (i know) dont know anything about design or planning..

    most of my flash work is no bigger than 760W 400H add task bars etc (still shows on 800 x 600)

    one way to compensate is to design good backgrounds that scale, or repeat well

  4. #4
    Senior Citizen phacker's Avatar
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    For those of you that force viewers to view your pages at a specific size or resolution, how would you feel about forcing sound at an unadjustable volume.

  5. #5
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    Just by the nature of computers (monitors/video cards) you are forced to STAY AT ONE resolution or another. Speakers on the other hand, COME with volume built in. Are you are NOT really forcing a user to anything..if he/she wants to resize his browser window he can..(unless you do fullscreen)

    And you think every website has a volume r mute button for their background music?...LOL......I wish they did..

    -whispers-

  6. #6
    Senior Citizen phacker's Avatar
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    Whispers, that not exactly accurate. With some of the scripted popups out there the only recourse is to close the window. So those with visual impairment can't zoom or maximize the window. There is always a volume control available either manually or in the task bar.

    Why can't we take advantage of the scalability of Flash, like audio artists do....they realize there are optimum settings for their work, but they create based on the fact that the end user can manipulate the end result. Are all of our creations so important that we can't let the end user have some control over the presentation? Or are we afraid to possibly allow the flaws to show.

  7. #7
    Moderator CNO's Avatar
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    But how "scalable" are your designs really? I mean, simply allowing a movie to stretch in Flash is actually more detrimental, since all of the additional calculations and skewed displays will chew up more processor power and be less user-friendly (and usable).

    To me a truly scalable interface would be one that seperates content from design, and pushes out different components based on a user's processing abilities, display size and perhaps a custom profile which would allow them to choose the information they want to use.

    Otherwise, from a usability perspective, sometimes limiting a user's options is a better choice than not - you can design an interface which, if planned properly, will enhance usability for all users, but could be completely destoryed if individual elements began shifting around on random resizes.

  8. #8
    Senior Citizen phacker's Avatar
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    That's not what I see out there. What I see are small windows with tiny unreadable text that limit viewer control options, ie zooming, etc., because someone used every PS filter and plugin available to come up with what they think is an outrageously terrific graphic, but they are afraid it will degrade if scaled. What I see isn't really paying attention to the presention of information, or usability.

    Television for years has presented the same content to a variety of sized screens, maybe their content designers realized that a person with 13 inch screen wouldn't expect to see the same amount of detail as someone with a larger screen. Of course they didn't have to worry about the aspect ratio changing, but that can be compensated for in Flash also. I've seen a few of the scripted pages that reformat according to resolution, and I find them a little irritating myself, and some of the adjusted compositions unbalanced.

    I've noticed most dvds offer the option of scaling to fit the screen, I have friends that hate the letter box format, which is similar to a lot of the flash pages out there today. They would rather lose some of the wide angle glitz just to have their picture full screen.

    Guess I am a minority.
    Last edited by phacker; 10-18-2002 at 11:53 AM.

  9. #9
    Moderator CNO's Avatar
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    Originally posted by phacker
    Guess I am a minority.
    I just don't think you're looking at the right sites.

    As I understand it, television producers don't create different versions of their content for different viewers - it is created at a standard "resolution" (To use a computer term), and is interpreted by the television screen itself. However, analogue broadcasts do not automatically compensate for digital or high-def televisions, or different television white points, contrast, brightness, etc. Or differences in Pal/NTSC. Not to mention that television broadcast standards are much better defined than Internet standards.

    I mean, I could argue that television doesn't give me enough control over content because I can't pause or rewind television shows, ne?

  10. #10
    Senior Citizen phacker's Avatar
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    The DVD versions allow for adjusting the picture to fit the screen, they allow for pausing and fast forward, and the talk is this is the way digital delivery of regular broadcasts will be for the average user in the near future. Not in my part of the woods for a long time I am sure. And I don't even have my own dvd yet. I agree the tv screen seems to handle the picture a little differently. I am not clear on how, but neither are my visitors, but they expect all the comforts of tv viewing.

    I bow to popular reasoning, I was just checking if there was anyone out there experimenting like I am.

  11. #11
    Retired Mod aversion's Avatar
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    I agree with most of the comments here, flash that is completely resizable is just going to skew elements, not just bitmaps that will distort and pixelise but text as well if the browser window is manipulated away from a standard landscape format, as most unmaximised browser windows are... imagine trying to create text that's not antialised!

    I hate pop ups and I have no idea why people put their flash sites in them, it means you have no control over the context the site is viewed in... anyway, putting a fixed width flash site in a browser window is ok with me, I think designers need to consider their audience and decide whether it is necessary to create extra versions to fit different screen resolutions, but for the most part flash is only scalable in an overall sense, not like 'stretchy' HTML, and for that reason I would not allow it.

    I'm beginning to see sites like http://www.teknision.com/ that have fixed width elements but also stretch the SWF to fill the page. While this particular site isn't taking advantage of this by making their content scalable. I think people are starting to think about it and hopefully we'll find a way to create pages that are as scalable as HTML.

    Using that comparison I would prefer to see a flash site with a switchable 'style sheet' for content, rather than just being dynamically scalable, not that would be interesting.

  12. #12
    Originally posted by aversion
    I think designers need to consider their audience...
    sad to notice that just a few think about their audience...

    glad to see some understand that not everyone have the huge monitor with the awesome vid. card and all...

    maybe someday we'll see designers asking themself not only if they need xtra version, but also if Flash is really needed for a specific project... then we'll have designers who really "consider their audience"... =)

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