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RIA Design

Storyboards, Wireframes and Scripting

We’ve used Flash since it was called Future Splash in 1997, back before Macromedia purchased it. That equates to a great deal of experience using Flash and a knowledge of what goes into any Silverlight or RIA to create software prototypes, corporate presentations, dynamic web presentations and more.

We start all Flash, Silverlight, RIA projects with detailed storyboards (shown throughout the folio samples). Frankly, we think going into a Flash, Silverlight, RIA project without a storyboard is like trying to make a movie without a script, or cutting your own hair in a dark room. The project will get done eventually, but it’s probably not going to be what you hoped for.

Because of the time involved in developing Flash, Silverlight, RIA projects, it’s important for everyone who has a say in the project to approve storyboards prior to production. The storyboards can be anything from small, four-panel pencil sketches to full size Photoshop illustrations. Bottom line, it’s important to have a reference of the goal before producing a Flash, Silverlight, RIA piece. In many cases two or three versions of storyboard development can save a surprisingly large quantity of money, while improving the quality and bolstering expectations of the final piece.

Do You Really Need Animation?

Too many people, bless their hearts, want to deliver their content in Flash or Silverlight for the wrong reasons – they see it as the cool thing to do. We, though, feel pretty strongly that it should be used to deliver web content only if the timing, motion and interactivity are truly needed and warrant the cost of development. In other words, do you really want it (or, need it)? Is it worth it? Is it truly usable for your customers (and for search engines!). For many clients and purposes, its more appropriate to deliver web content using more standard HTML/JS. Eight times out of ten you’ll get more return on your investment if you put more of your web budget into writing great text and scalable back end features.

Not discouraged yet?

Good. Just one more thing to consider – typically Flash, Silverlight, RIA content is difficult and expensive to update. However, that’s fixable. We can build updatability mechanisms into the architecture.

Performance

All that said, if you decide Flash, Silverlight, RIA is right for the project, you can be confident that we’re deeply in tune with the download characteristics and capabilities of Flash and Silverlight sites. By using detailed compression techniques and best practices from day one of the project we make Flash and Silverlight content (and ALL web content) as small as possible while keeping a rich end result.