May 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Blog | No comment
As I stated in my last blog post, one of the major reason for updating my portfolio site is to remove all my Flash interactive work from the site (since I don’t use that technology anymore). What is funny (now) is that when I started at the Globe 6 years ago in 2006, I came in as a sort of in-house “Flash/ActionScript” expert. But this was long time coming. I know, because I was a big fan/advocate of the technology. Once late Steve Jobs announced that iPhone will not support Flash in 2010, that was really just the beginning of the end for the Adobe’s once-awesome Flash.
Then in 2011, when the new BostonGlobe.com was being developed as the first major site to be build with Responsive Web Design and “Mobile First” philosophy, we, at the Boston Globe Graphics Department, decided that everything will be done in HTML5 or other open standard technologies, and never looked back. In a recent interview with SND, Globe’s Digital Design Director, Miranda Mulligan (my dotted line boss, I don’t directly report to her, but…) talked about that being one of the biggest challenge.
Designing and building interactive information graphics relies on a significant change in the design and development process. Traditionally, most newsrooms have relied heavily on Flash to execute interactive stories and data visualizations. Since Apple’s iOS and Flash do not play together nicely, finding another way to tell these stories is paramount. Also, designing interactives and data visualizations for mobile has, by and large, been an afterthought. Now, designing for mobile must be the first thought.Also, this design process relies heavily on rapidly prototyping and creating the visual design within the browser. The process is smoothest when the experience has been designed and coded using mobile-first techniques, and then designing and enhancing for wider, more fully featured browsers. It seems awkward at first, but gets more and more confortable with practice.
So, practice, practice, practice! I have to say, I am very lucky and honored to be a part of this digital news/story telling revolution.