Archive for November, 2011

No Meeting on 26 November – Thanksgiving

No Meeting on 24 December – Christmas

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Here is an outline of my upcoming Flash is Dead HTML 5 course:

I certainly don’t believe that Flash is dead, but the desktop is dead (or mostly dead…what do you have to live for…true love). Mobile is driving web development. So I titled this course “Flash is Dead” for the Flash haters out there who don’t realize that it’s about what works  -not any aversion to style.

Flash is Dead: HTML5 and Mobile by Michael Lively

Course Outline:

  1. Getting Started – explains how to get started with HTML 5 & CSS3, develop cross-browser compatible web sites, and integrate associated technologies to create an enhanced mobile experience.
  2. Syntax and Structure – defines the new HTML5 tags and attributes, takes a look at helpful online resources, discusses how browsers parse content such as history, and demonstrates a simple drag and drop game.
  3. Building Web Forms for Mobile – defines best practices for creating mobile web forms, displays new HTML5 form types, and discusses approaches for dealing with older browsers using tools such as jquery and modernizer.
  4. Local Storage – examines HTML 5 storage options, emphasizes the use of SQLite and direct browser access, and develops a full CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) browser-centered storage system.
  5. Video and Audio – shows how to configure HTML 5 audio and video tags for web and mobile,  how to encode audio and video file formats, and build custom controls with JavaScript.
  6. Graphics and Animation – illustrates the use of the HTML5 Canvas elements by drawing basic shapes, setting styles and colors, adding shadows, patterns, and gradients. Further develops animation and more advanced techniques such as scaling, rotating, and compositing objects.
  7. 3D Animation Overview – demonstrates how to create 3D animation using WebGL and the HTML 5 canvas elements, and gives an overview of popular WebGL sites and training resources.
  8. Geolocation – covers the HTML5 geolocation API, how to retrieve coordinates from a device, how to integrate the results with Google Maps, and how to create a location-aware mobile application.
  9. Mobile Web Design– demonstrates how to create optimized HTML 5 mobile pages, design mobile screens with finger-based interaction, and how to integrate with local storage and media queries to produce interactive reader content.
  10. IOS Web App Development – illustrates how to set up the IPhone emulator, create special effects, and use HTML5 and CSS3 to tailor apps for viewing on the IPhone and IPad.


This Saturday I’ll be teaching how to create effective web forms. See you at Panera Bread, 9, on Housten Rd in Florence

Creating Effective Web Forms

After completing a difficult web form have you ever exclaimed, “Boy that was hard work”. Was it really? All you did was a little typing, and clicking. How hard could that be? It’s all mental, but it feels like you just ran a marathon, especially, if the form was difficult to complete.

Mental parsing is difficult, and creating an effective form with high conversion rate is getting physical with your mind: Create your forms as if you are physically doing some type of work. For example, filling out a field is like lifting a 20 pound box. Clicking is like batting a fly. Moving from page to page (or jumping from place to place) is like jumping from roof top to roof top. Getting lost in the process is like an unwelcomed road trip that ends in the middle of a New Mexico dessert.

If this sounds ridiculous, just remember by applying the principles that you’ll learn in this course many companies have been able to increase their conversion rates by 400% – practically overnight. So it’s dead serious. If you’re having problems with conversion, this is the stuff for you! Here’s a summary of what you’ll learn.

(1)    See a form as real physical work not just fields to fill in. Remember this is work which you are asking your client to do for free. Whenever you can eliminate the work required (or make it enjoyable), you’ll increase the possibility for conversion.

(2)    Apply simple physics concepts:

  1. Reduce form friction by using auto completion and inline validation
  2. Do a direct dunk on your path to completion
  3. Use visual cues when you want your clients to stop and think (especially with primary and secondary activities), but use them sparingly
  4. Conserve energy by reducing the amount of mental parsing required
  5. pay attention to eye metrics
  6. Reduce clicks and slides when possible, and keep tabbing in your path to completion.

(3)    Avoid jumping from page-to-page (or place to place). Remember its equivalent to physically jumping.

(4) Eliminate unnecessary fields. You wouldn’t ask your neighbor over to help you move a couch and then have him mow the lawn. The same applies here.

etc… there is more…see you Saturday.

Adobe’s Bombshell

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Flash Builder Users Group

Here’s the link for Adobe’s Announcement:

http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html

I think the impact of the announcement was more significant than the actual effect of discontinuing Flash Mobile. Adobe’s stock took a beating today.

Our group does all its Flex Mobile development in Adobe Air anyway…so it really doesn’t affect us presently. However, Adobe’s shift in emphasis to html 5/CSS3 should be followed. The announcement alone will cause Flash developers (and potential developers/development) to go scurrying elsewhere.

Keeping pace with UI development is difficult at best; Google, Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple are slugging it out – forcing developers like myself to get less sleep and keep track of all four. There are too many options, where in the RIA days of Macromedia there was only one!

Everything is going mobile. It would seem that it’s the desktop that is dead not Adobe…maybe that’s the point.