13 August 2010
I consider myself primarily a Flash designer and developer, but as a graduate student I spend a lot of time researching great tools and applications. I was very interested in what I saw about Adobe® Flex™ at www.flex.org and at www.fwa.com. These sites highlighted really cool applications and I began to see how I might be able to use Flex tools to build applications that are more engaging and interactive, but practical to build and deploy.
I decided that I needed to know more about Flex so I arranged an independent study course for fall quarter 2007 to teach myself its basics. I wanted to create a project with great images and real-life usability so I focused on an on-line catalog with a shopping cart function. I chose to showcase Apple's iPods because I love Apple's products and quality images were readily available. While learning Flex, I began to see its power. It could be the right software to create a unified access point for all the student web tools, such as e-mail, academic and financial records, that I now reach as separate applications inside the R.I.T. student portal. Of course, that project was well beyond the scope of my independent study course.
I was very pleased with my catalog project. I could not have built the interface with the ease I did without the easily customizable components in Adobe Flex. Being able to stylize the components, exactly as I envisioned them, was a great benefit for this project. I hope I can one day use Adobe Flex to build some really great applications like ScrapBlog.