9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2010 2:13 PM by Elder Marx

    Review my Flash Catalyst website.

    Joe Duffey



      I thought I'd use this forum to get some constructive feedback on my website design. This is the first site that I designed with FC. I'd like to know how it holds up. Can anyone lend me their thoughts?


      Thank you kindly



        • 1. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.

          Very classy look with that new-age design you have there. The Color schemes are nice, especially the browns and pale blues. Did you come up with those schemes yourself, or are they already apart of that resturaunts theme and feel? Reguardless, I like it.


          On the home page, you have a nice slide show of all of the photography of the food. Thumps up to the Photographer. I, myself, am Rather new to Catalyst (Started today, actually) What function did you use for the slideshow? The timing from frame to frame is nice. If gives enough time to appriciate, but want more.

          There is one problem I came across: If you wait to the end of the slideshow, a "Slideshow" button comes up. If you click on it, it reloads the page. Is this what you were anticipating? Another thing that I noticed about it was that while it is not viewable, that button is still Clickable. You might be able to adjust that if you are using states by disabling the button until the final state, then enabling the button. I am not sure what method you used for the slideshow so I am not sure if that would work, but, you might be able to adjust it if you feel it is an adjustment you want to make.


          The designs and the pans I think are good, but there appears to be a lot of things coming off and on from all directions from state to state. This might dissorient your viewers. Keeping things to two directions (for example: Pan right, Pan down) can help simplify design, and give unity to the website.


          One other thing that disorients is that a lot of the buttons open new tabs and windows. I actually became a little afraid to click on a button because I was not sure if a new window was going to pop or not.


          Break Down:

          First Impression: A

          The first load says a lot!


          Design: B+.

          Different states have pans going all directions resulting in lack of unity. User can never tell what a button will do, all the way to launcing a new window.


          Functionality: A-

          Functioning site! All except that Slideshow button



          Classy Look

          Use of Bing *thumb up for not using Google* (as I am a growing fan of Bing)


          Half highlight:

          Option for mobile users.

          Thumbs up for the option. Thumbs down for the fact that on the mobile platform, would still be hard to surf. Maybe a more accurate name would be "Non flash version." Mobile version still launches the PDF files. Do many phones / The Iphone/Ipad have PDF viewing capabilities?


          Would be cool:

          If you made a mini app to read the weather/Directions off of Bing using Flex.

          If you could eliminate most of the new window pop-ups (except the Menu. Feels appropriate for the Menu, but if that too were all apart of this Website application, all the Better! You Don't want your costumers/viewers to be leaving the site at hand)


          The Question:

          Would I go to the restraunt based on the website?

          I Would! The Website produces a great image for the Restraunt. I would go if I were close by, especially on a date. So yes, the website is a good selling point for your audience.


          In all it is a good site that does what it is meant to: Get people to want to go to the restraunt.


          How long did it take you to develop this page from design to product? Did you spend more time in the design phase, or the Catalyst phase?


          Best of luck to you my friend!


          • 2. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.

            I'm really, really impressed. I've never used Flash Catalyst myself. I'm more of a designer who can work around code so this seems like a better solution for building Flash files for me.


            You did a great job. You made the restaurant look really great. I bet they are thrilled with the work. I want to eat there! LOL.



            • 3. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.
              Kim Isola Adobe Employee

              Hi Joe,


              Very nice site, it's really great to see what you did with Flash Catalyst. It's quite elegant-- thanks very much for posting it here!


              If you're interested, I'd encourage you to share it more broadly with the Adobe Flash Catalyst community; there is an app you can download for free, which allows you to publish to adobe.com. It is a simple AIR app, called Community Publishing, and you can find here: http://www.adobe.com/community/publishing/download.html. You can include a link to your project, and a brief explanation (or as detailed of an explanation as you want) of how you created it. Here are just a few examples of the tips other community members have published to share with the community (these cover other Adobe products):




              Thanks for posting!


              • 4. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.
                Joe Duffey Level 1

                Thanks for the post! I really appreciate you taking the time. This is a grade A evaluation.


                I created the color scheme with the help of Kuler, which I think is great. http://kuler.adobe.com I hired a photographer to go down and take shots of the food and the chef did all the plating himself. I told them that I wanted to build the site around the photos and they did a great job.


                As you start to use Fc you’ll soon become aware of the limitations. Some of what you pointed out is a result of those limitations combined with my own coding limitations. For the slide show I used an action sequence that says that upon first load each picture would vanish, revealing the picture under it. So it starts of with a whole stack of pics ready to be revealed. Fc doesn’t appear to have an automatic slideshow. The only other way to do it would be to create buttons that a person could manually click to move between pictures, but in that scenario each picture would have to be its own stage. Then I’d have a ton of extra pages that would just be taking up valuable space and increasing loading time. There also doesn’t appear to be a looping option for action sequences. Correct me if I’m wrong because I’d much rather have an endlessly looping slideshow. I didn’t realize that the current button is clickable before it becomes visible, I’m not sure what I could do about that since this slideshow is all one state. I’ll look into it. 


                Your other concern was one of my biggest concerns as well. The fact that so many pages open up in their own window is not at all ideal. I’m sure there are ways to edit the flash code so I wouldn’t have to do this, but I’m not a code guy. Eventually I hope to become one but for now I’m making do. So for things like maps, forms, and the opentable sign up sheet I didn’t know how to add them directly to the Fc file. I’ll look into your Flex suggestion and see if I can do something with that. I have no experience with it but it’d be a great next step for me.


                I wanted to make the menus pdf’s for the sake of printability. The iPhone and iPad do support pdf’s and the new iBooks can actually save and store all pdf’s. I’m not sure about other smart phones. For the mobile site I was able to steal a code from ESPN to do an automatic redirect for iPhone users and that seems to be working great. But other phones will have to navigate to the mobile friendly page... I’m working on that.


                All in all it took about two weeks to put the site together. Most of this time was spent getting used to Fc, working with the restaurant on the layout, and connecting all the dots between the stages and elements. The design was all done in Photoshop and didn’t take long.


                Thanks again for taking the time to evaluate the site. I have no other outlet for this kind of feedback.


                Take care.



                • 5. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.
                  Joe Duffey Level 1

                  Thanks for the comment Jenny. Fc has definitely opened a lot of doorways. I highly recommend it.



                  • 6. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.
                    Joe Duffey Level 1

                    Thanks a lot Kim. I will definitely post the site through the AIR app.



                    • 7. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.
                      Paevo Kelley Level 2

                      Takes forever to download. I was thinking of downloading a trial copy of this, but I think I'll just keep developing using decompiled swf...

                      • 8. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.
                        Joe Duffey Level 1

                        Hi Paevo


                        Hmm, I hadn't heard that from anyone. Do you mean my site takes forever to load, or Fc projects in general? Or do you mean the Fc trial takes forever to download?


                        I made sure to take every precaution to reduce every single file size within the library pane, so load time shouldn't be long at all. Let me know if this is a problem with my site and I will further compress some of the files.


                        Thanks for the input.



                        • 9. Re: Review my Flash Catalyst website.
                          Elder Marx Level 1

                          Very good site your, friend.

                          I personally would improve the design of it.