Well, it’s been a busy couple of weeks for RD2′s resident Flash designer.
Verizon Superpages requested a PowerPoint-like sales presentation, but with a little extra jazz. Enter Flash. With Flash’s ability to read Text and XML files, I was able to build an animated, easy to navigate, and even easier to update flash presentation, using Text files that can be read and edited on all computers running anything from OS X, Windows 95-XP, and everything in between.
The benefits of this system? Anyone with a personal computer can update the presentation just by changing a text file — no knowledge of the underlying technology is required. You don’t have to know PowerPoint or Flash, you don’t even have to have the programs installed on your computer to make changes. The benefit of this is that each sales rep. can customize a presentation based on his or her personal figures and presentation style.
Another benefit of using Text files is the ability to set and remove pauses in the presentation itself. Instead of a sales rep. having to press a button every time they want to move to the next item, they can set a delay using a text file, and the presentation moves to the rep.’s own personal speed.
Data, bar graphs, and percentages can also be dynamically created. Using a system of math and a bit of formating, it’s possible to make a series of bar graphs that actually grow to the appropriate sizes, even if the numbers change. This gives the sales rep. the ability to change the sizes of bar graphs simply by inserting new sales figures, or other information.
Flash is an excellent tool for corporate presentations, and further research and plain old elbow grease have given me insights that will streamline the process for future flash presentations.