Data-viz of computer energy consumption

Data visualisation of television use

Flash versus HTML5

HTML5 has been talked up as a Flash killer, a better open source, search engine optimized way of delivering interactive content. HTML5 is code whereas Flash is an animator's tool. The debate highlights how the internet has developed. Sites have become organised into text based grids based on content management systems like wordpress. Text, it seems has taken over the world. Flash grew out of movie making, specifically animation. It's default frame setting is 12 frames per second (fps) the same default setting I learned when I was training as an animator. Film runs at 24fps so to halve the work we would double click for each drawing, which is 12 fps. Flash uses the same language as animators with words like tween and timeline. There was verly little text involved in making an animation on film. In fact it was a very physical thing cutting and pasting celluloid together. For me Flash was an extension of that work flow, a way of taking movie making forward with user interaction. Flash may not speak the language of computers but it speaks the language of people and is a way for developing visually rich interactive applications.

The graphical user interface

The interface for Flash is a graphical user interface (GUI) which enables the user to manipulate content with visual metaphors. The desktop on your computer is a GUI and objects like the trashcan and document folders are visual metaphors that help people to use the computers operating system. The GUI made the computer accessible because people find it easier to navigate information with visual icons, if you're unsure about this statement have a look around any public space or at any company branding. Flash's GUI makes is very easy to use especially for artists who are used to expressing themselves with visual language.

Because of the importance of search engines and the desire to appropriately tag content meta data has become more important than the content. For example html pages include a meta-description that you can't see on the page but you can see on google's search pages. On the web visual language has been relegated to a role as a bystander.


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