I’m a stranger in this place.
It took this print reporter three weeks to learn Flash and create the video gamer package you see here.
Here’s the story: about a month ago, I approached Len to see if the graphics department could throw together a flash page to tie together all the multimedia elements I had gathered (two videos, a slideshow, lists, etc.) for a story I was working on.
He turned me down. The department was bogged down with other higher priority requests, he said.
Damn! Couldn’t they just throw together something small and basic? Maybe use the template used in the Rip Currents flash package, ( ) another project I had gathered multimedia for? No and no.
I was distressed. Instead of a slick, user-friendly experience, people could only access my multimedia through ugly links buried below the middle of the screen, out of a reader’s line of sight like a pair of old sneakers hanging high on a power line.
I had to make it myself. And here’s what it took:
• Two for learning from a book and a class with Belinda and a week to create from scratch.
•Adobe’s Classroom in a Book and Mindy McAdam’s Flash Journalism to learn basics and concept for visual story-telling
• Guidance and patience from graphics/flash team for great feedback, help iron out kinks, provide crazy coding.
• Support from my editor to help me block off my schedule to focus on this project.
• Seemingly endless tweaking perfecting fonts, adjusting layers, making stuff fit.
• Crash course on design philosophy.
--key is consistency
--take out anything unnecessary or flashy, much like writing
--It took almost as much time to troubleshoot it as it did to design.
My editor and I are thinking long-term use with this knowledge.
We’re going to see how we can create Flash templates to tie together the deluge of info that pours in during big breaking news stories. I can't wait to get started. Give us three weeks.
Andrew Ba Tran
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