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Welcome to the post 10 year frame on the timeline of the Flash generation. 10 years is quite an achievement in this fast paced industry.

An industry where technologies evolve and die faster than the amount of time it takes to actually master them, an industry that can literally be defined by a single word, a word that sums up the speed in which we pace ourselves as designers, developers and end users; a word that describes the nature of our game.

FLASH!

Flash has established itself as the supreme king of interface on the web. From its humble beginnings at Future Wave Software going by its original name (Future Splash) to its appointment into the ranks of Adobe’s best line up.

Future Splash was originally used early on in 1996 to add some pop to websites like Disney and The Simpsons. Websites like YouTube and thousands of others use it as its main interface and video player of choice.

Television and movie studios are now pumping its content through the Flash codec and video games are being launched on the web using Flash. Flash is everywhere.

The New Age

Flash has extended itself well beyond its humble beginnings from the browser it was born in.

We are now in a new age, an age where web design has been completely redefined and the interfaces that are being developed closely resemble the world we live in.

Flash is being implemented not just on the web but on cell phones, kiosks, environmental installations and it is being applied in new ways every single day.

I was recently perusing The FWA as I do every morning, getting my daily dose of inspiration. No matter how many times I go through the various sites listed I always find something useful for a project I am currently working on.

The evolution of Flash is so gratifying because every time a new SOTD winner is posted we are exposed to some new element, new expression and new implementation of Flash.

The variations seem to be endless, the possibilities are exciting. Design and functionality seem to be right at home in the fluid and sexy interface Flash offers.

Realistic Environments

Some of the latest SOTD winners have been designed around the new trend of using realistic environments as an interface and navigational tool.

The sites are rich in color and real world elements. They take over the screen, content now comes to life. It’s immersive, engaging and exciting.

The depth of the navigations and content seem endless; it is an exploration into new worlds. 3D elements are being utilized and video is now a staple of any decent Flash site.

The days of boxed out content living in tight quarters and scrollable text aligned perfectly within neat little areas are done.

Free at last

Design is now an explosion; it has finally been released from its captive state and can breathe free onto our screens. Design has never been this alive and it’s only the beginning.

What we are experiencing now is an online coming of age, a turning point for designers, developers and end users.

We are breathing a soul into the nostrils of the flat static internet that we have known until now and are collectively bringing it to life by raising our expectations; developing sites and applications that reflect what the web is truly capable of.

Take a look as some of the more recent sites on The FWA and you will find examples of what I am referring to.

Sites like Jurajska and Own Your C are wonderful executions of worlds coming to life right before your eyes, interactive journeys that make the web so much more than it was even a year ago.

One site I especially enjoyed was the Come in to Your Closet minisite for Ikea; finally the pages of the Ikea catalogue have emerged from its bulky print catalogue.

Not only are environments coming to life but products like Coke and Smirnoff have taken center stage and are used as launching pads for virtual worlds emanating from within the brand.

Even companies like Perdue have taken the environmental approach to get their messages across.

The Future Path?

Has the web finally chosen the path to become more aligned with our real world?

Has it inherited our attributes and addressed our needs as people who want massive amounts of information and don’t want to read pages and pages of text to get it?

Have we imprinted our real world onto the web; expanding it into virtual worlds beyond our wildest imaginations?

I certainly don’t have the exact answers to these questions but they are fun to think about when looking at some of these newer sites popping up all over the internet.

I find it to be exhilarating when I come across a site that transcends the norm and brings me into a new world.

This is exciting because it will not only give us end users a better overall web experience but it will help to expand their minds and their ideas and take them to places they weren’t capable of going to before.

All made possible using Flash.


About the Author, Craig Elimeliah
(former) Producer, Firstborn

Craig Elimeliah (former) Producer at Firstborn Multimedia. He is a native New Yorker who started his design career in Jerusalem. Craig has a background in design, technology, project management, entrepreneurship and sales.

When Craig is not producing projects for Firstborn he spends his time with his kids, writing, painting and cooking.


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