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Navigation menu with "wow"-factor

Blogger : XML, XSL, XSD
All posts : All posts by XML, XSL, XSD
Category : WS, web services
Blogged date : 2003 May 21

I was reading DonXML's post about "Cool Tabs" and it made me think of some experiments I did a while ago with Flash and it's transparency feature.

If you set your Flash movie to a width & height of 100% and leave it's scale on the default setting (show all), give it an absolute position of 0,0 and a z-layer of being above the rest of the page and lastly use the transparency option, then you have everything you need to try this out.

One of the things I did with this was create a small character that could be dragged around the page and minimized (simmilar to the Microsoft Office Assistant), when a non-drag click was done the character would animate and provide interactive options, such as suggestions of places to go, allow feedback, provide a settings dialog, and allow customisation of the page/site. I never got past some early alpha versions of this, as none of my clients required it at the time. The other concerns were that the Flash movie always went behind combo boxes and list boxes.

The beauty of this design is that it allows a small Flash movie (that will be cached automatically) to provide a more interactive environment to the site, provided you're willing to deal with the compatability and design issues that may arrise.

Other advantages is that Flash can send/receive XML without a page refresh, combine this with Web Services and you can have a lot of functionality added to existing pages with a very minimal bandwidth cost.

What do you think?

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