Technology

My iPad and my catLast week I took the plunge finally and bought and iPad. Actually I bought two, one for me and one for my fiancee, but nontheless, I took the plunge. Unlike my iPod Touch purchase, this was a bit more of a gamble, purely because it is a lot more money for something that is “just a larger iPod”. Minutes after ordering it from the Apple online store I wondered: “will I enjoy the purchase? Will I make the most of it? and What if not?”

Well, last week the iPad arrived, together with a number of accessories (which I will discuss in more detail below), and I spent the last week looking at apps, reading up reviews and testing them to make the most of my day-to-day activities as a web designer, project leader and information architect.

So, read on for my thoughts on the iPad and accessory reviews…

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Flash Development, Web development

ColdFusion 9 beta released - WhatwasithinkingA couple of weeks ago, the brilliant minds behing Adobe released beta versions of ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder to its Adobe Labs members. This latest version of ColdFusion features a greater integration with the popular Flash platform, including AIR, Flex (and Flex Builder) and Flash Media Server, making it easier for developers to create rich user interfaces for (web) applications. Not only that, ColdFusion 9 accelerates the development cycle by reducing complex code and the ability to access data from existing infrastructures based on enterprise solutions such as MS Office, Sharepoint and other standards.

Since the integration of the Flash and PDF ( since ColdFusion 8 ) platforms, more and more developers are flocking towards ColdFusion again, and it is seen as a great alternative to meet business needs quickly and effectively, and more and more businesses are hiring ColdFusion developers because of that.

Read more about ColdFusion 9’s key features and download links… Continue Reading

Flash Development, Web development

Adobe Flash Lite Distributable Player - Flash for mobiles - Whatwasithinking.co.ukAdobe announced in February this year that its latest version of Flash Lite 3.1 Distributable Player has been released for beta testing.

This new player will enable developers and integrators to create rich, expressive applications targeted to the latest version of Adobe’s Flash technology, with the ability to distribute their apps including the runtime installer to millions of open OS mobile devices with a streamlined workflow and reduced time to market.

For now, the distributable player is only available on Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile devices, but more devices are to follow very soon…

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Flash Development, Web Design, Web development

On Flash - map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript (part2)If you followed my entry about Map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript you will probably be wondering what I have to report about the progress. As you may remember, this mash-up is about offering a client a new spin on travel bogging: being able to log in to the client’s website from anywhere in the world and give other users (and family and friends) the opportunity to see where you are going and what you are doing there.

Last time I wrote about this Yahoo / Flash mashup I connected the Yahoo map’s API through Flash and PHP to a MySQL database and was able to write / read from the entries. My next goals were to integrate a user-login, adding links, implementing moderation and a Flash image uploader script. Continue Reading

Flash Development

On Flash - SWF files can now be found and indexed - Whatwasithinking.co.ukUp until a few months ago flash files used to be an absolute nightmare when it came to SEO and indexing its content for search engines. The best solution was always to have alternative content available or to use as little information as possible within a flash file of a corporate site, and about 90% of the time designers would only use flash for non-important browsing routes or as visual treats (think flash image slideshows, think flash maps but with the ability to get to a destination without using it). What good is a website that looks great but can hardly be found?

Yesterday Google announced an update to their search engines with the help of Adobe Labs. Read more about this new development after the break.

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Information Architecture, Usability & Accessibility

On Information Architecture and user-testing - Part 3 - Usability testing and Accessibility testingFollowing my previous article we are now going to put our website prototype to a first test before we begin developing the website. While the functionality and navigation makes sense to us – after all, we just spent the last week(s) working on it – we need to ensure it works the same way for others as well. We understand how we get from a destination page to the product or trip we are after and finally to the enquiry page – but will anyone else do so as well?

Usability testing will reveal if the flow of the site works, and accessibility testing will ensure that our site complies to any relevant accessibility guidelines.
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Flash Development, Web development

On Flash - Flash Player 10, Features & Rich media informationAdobe Labs has just released the beta of its Flash Player 10, code name “Astro”., and its time for us flash-developers to get stuck right in! Flash Player 10 introduces a number of new features and technical improvements to the exhaustive list of features and abilities of Flash 9, among them improved 3D effects and a enhanced drawing API.

For the full list of features please continue reading below the break… Continue Reading

Flash Development, Web Design, Web development

On Flash - map integration with Yahoo Maps + ActionScript 2.0In my job it isn’t always about a swish flash interface, a cool looking site or animation these days – it is about integration, about offering functionality that jumps out from the rest of the competition. The magic word is integration. A client of ours approached us about adding a special sort of travel-blog.

What we would like is some sort of members-only application that allows our users to track their journeys with us and to maybe blog about them, but it should look swish and very easy to use. We would like a similar functionality for our travel guides who would then post information about the tours.

The idea of a blog is a great tool for customer retention, if done right it allows users to post comments about their journeys, maybe with images to keep a log of what they are doing while on that trip. It would allow visitors to see what is going on on a journey with <Company Name> and what you can do or what the user(s) saw and took part in. Obviously, I wanted to offer a little bit more than just a blog. My idea was to work on a map-blog… Continue Reading