Quiz Format

January 12, 2011

Over this passed week, I have been looking at different interfaces for user input. I want the style to be well organized and reflect the feel of the overall project.

Here are some of the ones I came up with:

I have also been looking into code for the user inputs as well as more on scroll code. I have to break it down into parts so I understand each line of the code I am using.

Knowledge Testing

January 5, 2011

Based on suggestions from today’s in-class critique, I will be exploring different methods of boosting the engagement of my project by increasing the interactive component. I will be trying to make the experience more game-like and test users on their knowledge before providing them with the information held within the database. The information already is quite trivia-like so this change should be very beneficial to bringing the project up to another level. I will begin by seeking out various ways to receive input commands to make the database function as seamlessly as possible.

Here are some links I might be exploring:

Namestorming

January 5, 2011

On the design side of things, I’ve been working with the name of the database. It won’t be too dominant in the project but it is still important to have a title. It will most likely only appear once on the preloader introduction page of the database with a brief description of the project and somewhere on the poster output as well.

I was originally working with:

Here is the new identity I have created:

I feel like this title better represents the “at-a-glance” concept of learning something simply and quickly. I also feel that this better incorporates the aesthetic of the database itself and gives you a preview of what you will be viewing.

Scroll Code Exploration (2)

January 5, 2011

Now that I have a better understanding about Actionscript3, I have looked at every scroll image tutorial I gathered in my previous post in greater detail. Parts of the code make a lot of sense and work in the way I imagined they would so I will have to take aspects of them to use for my project.

Unfortunately all of the examples I have managed to find are for image galleries and call on external XML files to populate the flash file. In my case I will not be using photos and I was expecting to create and include the vector symbols within the flash file rather than in an external XML. Having a folder of images may work for under a dozen images but for this database, I will have to work on tweaking the code to work in this new way.

I may only be able to take inspiration from existing code and have to create it entirely from scratch which could be beneficial for future work. At least I know if I have to resort to loading external images, I will be able to have a fully working database.

ActionScript3 Tutorials

January 5, 2011

This is an update on my coding progress. I have become more comfortable with Actionscript3, Here are some helpful tutorials that have helped me better grasp the coding language. 

Tutorial Review: The tutorial was very basic at points and the actual code learned will most likely not appear in my final piece but this tutorial definitely helped me get a sense on how to phrase functions and has allowed me to better imagine how to approach coming up with my code.

I also viewed this tutorial about creating simple buttons, although very basic, I now know I will be able to control the timeline in AS3, instead of just AS2 (which is very buggy in CS5.) Now once I get the scroll code working, people will definitely be able to click the icons and view the at-a-glance information.

Scroll Code Exploration

January 2, 2011

I have decided to further pursue actionscript 3 in flash. The initial tutorials I have looked at have been intimidating but I am hoping to get some working code shortly. Also I have tried some AS2 that has usually worked for me in the past but for some reason it does not work on my current computer system. (pc cs3 -> mac cs5)

Here are some of the tutorials for scrolling images I have been looking into:

• http://www.ultrashock.com/forum/viewthread/122686/

http://active.tutsplus.com/tutorials/effects/create-a-responsive-xml-image-scroller-in-actionscript-3-0/

http://activeden.net/item/zoom-horizontal-image-scroll-menu-as2-and-as3/127108
http://www.republicofcode.com/tutorials/flash/imagegallery/

Survey Process

January 2, 2011

Over the break I have been trying to get more feedback on what content I should be including in my database. I have received some helpful feedback on my online survey (view here) but I decided to explore other ways to get the necessary information.

I tried to make submitting ideas easier so I put out a facebook post that read, “What do you want to learn more about?” and “What topics do you find interesting?”. Unfortunately I received even less feedback from this method.

I went  downtown to the Eatons Centre  to try to get some face-to-face responses. I also decided to better phrase my questions because I wanted the information to be more personal so I asked what they like to do in their spare time and what kinds of things they want to improve about themselves. I tried recording most of the results and have compiled some of the interesting responses into an audioclip.

 

Coding Research

December 16, 2010

I have been looking up various options to use to code my interactive database. I will be posting the various websites I’ve looked up and review the benefits/disadvantages of going with each option.

Note: Just because these resources may not fit the project at hand does not mean they are not worth trying for future projects.

expressionengine.com

pros:

  • Creates professional interfaces, user-friendly and template system
  • Online support (wiki/forum)  and User Guide for assistance

cons:

  • Completely new software to learn
  • purchasing a license is expensive

Html5 boilerplate

pros:

  • constantly updated, open source
  • heavily documented with tips/hints

cons:

  • better suited for websites than single-page databases
  • limited examples of work created using the system

devot-ee.com

pros:

  • provides a variety of add-ons for ExpressionEngine
  • user created/submitted content with community involvement

cons:

  • Requires ExpressionEngine to be of any use.
  • Add-ons require no work or in some cases too much.

blueprint css

pros:

  • creates professional websites based on a grid
  • takes cross-platform design into consideration

cons:

  • structured for grid-based websites, difficult to adapt to database
  • similar to other website tools already available and well-known

flash AS3

pros:

  • industry standard for flash
  • multiple applications, (not just for websites)

cons:

  • new programming language to learn
  • requires flash player to run

flash AS2

pros:

  • I have experience with simple AS2 coding
  • Many resources available for coding language

cons:

  • out of date language, AS3 is the new standard
  • limited application for the future

I will look further into each option as well as look for other options as well. These notes are just to assist me in making a choice. I will make my selection shortly and proceed to getting some working code for my database.

Workshop Blog Introduction

December 8, 2010

Hello, I am a Designer in my fourth year of the YSDN program. This blog has been created to document my process for my interactive database project. I will be posting my progress, inspirational websites and other related content.

Here is potentially what the final output may look like:

interface