The Internet is a suitable tool for distributing information because it is a communication medium that reaches a wide audience. By using the web to advertise, companies can easily attract potential customers. Some elements used for web advertisements include animated graphics and sounds. The aim for this project is to provide a website that can showcase the elements of a dance studio. The front-end, or interface of the website is designed with Flash technology that incorporates tasteful decorations as well as a consistent color theme. The content of the website is stored in a database, which can be updated easily. The back-end of this dynamic website consists of PHP technology that connects the MySQL database with the Flash presentation. This project also provides an opportunity for this author to learn how to design with Flash.
While Flash animation has been around over a decade, it is a relatively new technology compared to the hypertext markup language. In the early days, Flash animation provided some entertainment value but did not contribute to the information sharing focus of the Internet, so it is found on a small percentage of all websites. In addition, most browsers require a Flash player plug in to render the Flash animations. Even with frequent upgrading of Flash players to the latest version for proper compatibility, many companies in the entertainment prefer using Flash because of its possibilities for multimedia integration. The Flash technology that we know of today can work with text, sounds, video and graphics in both static and dynamic contexts.
For small companies such as a local dance studio, Flash websites can be used to the same extent as larger companies to portray the professional image. Shin Dance Academy (SDA) is one out of many dance studios in Southern California that offers a selection of dance classes to the public, which are taught by temporary instructors. SDA is interested in utilizing whatever tools available to efficiently promote and thereby successfully recruit more students. As such, SDA finds marketability in maintaining a lively and up-to-date website.
The current website contains static pages, with few attractive features to garner attention. What Flash offers for a website, is more attraction value such as animations and sounds that would enhance the visitor's experience. In this project the website will have design separated from the content by using a Flash interface and database back-end. There will be consistent styling among all pages and intuitive navigation that give a more professional look. One of the major changes to the current, static version of SDA's website is storing content in a database so that a web master could easily add or delete information from the website.
Flash and ActionScript 2.0 Front-end
The latest ActionScript version brings object oriented features and more functionality for data transfer. Together, Flash and ActionScript are able to create rich, dynamic Internet applications. Using tools in Macromedia Flash MX 2004, a Flash designer could create complex interfaces and a Flash developer could create a useful web application. Flash developers can also use their favorite text editors for creating ActionScript that can be compiled with a stand-alone compiler
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