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Flash multimedia project Essay



This essay critically assesses and analyses a Flash multimedia project by drawing on some distinguishing features based on Flash Project site at The Planet Zero. The essay also demonstrates principles and theories of multimedia that apply in this project.

The core idea of the project

The Planet Zero Project emphasises zero emission of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles. The project aims at eliminating carbon dioxide emission by building zero emission vehicles. This is the idea Nissan expresses in the project by emphasising on Eco-friendly cars. The project encourages the use of electric cars because such cars are Eco-friendly.

The project idea emanated from effects of global warming and depletion of energy sources. The company highlights the use of other sources of energy like wind and sun.

The project symbolises an approach to preserve the future by adopting electric vehicles, which are friendly to the environment.

The approach to interaction design

According to Eccher, one of the most important design spectrum based on the usability philosophy is the multimedia philosophy (Eccher, 2011). In this case, the designer uses animation, audio, and video so that he can develop several interactive features. From the project, we can see how the designer captures this principle by using animations that move from one place to another as the site plays background beats.

The first part of the site demonstrates effects of global warming as ice melts. This is an example of a Flash site developed by Adobe’s Flash animation software. Based on the development of the Internet, Flash animation has played a dominant role in this project.

The project relies on Macromedia Flash in order to design creative menus. The Flash allows animation as wells as the audio whenever users set animation in motion. The project also does not experience problems associated with failures of Flash plug-ins. In fact, Nielsen argues that the presence of Flash on “a Web site constitutes a usability disease” (Nielsen, 2000).

This is because of difficulties in getting suitable Flash designs in Web sites. He argues that Flash can degrade Web sites based on three areas. It allows users to “abuse the design principles, it breaks with the Web’s fundamental interaction principles, and it distracts attention from the site’s core value” (Nielsen, 2000).

Manovich observes that Flash applications have attracted a lot of creativity. Flash aesthetics “achieve cultural sensibility of the new generation” (Manovich, n.d). However, problems associated with such latest Flash applications show that designers disregard principles of art or design. This project has been able to achieve aesthetic by using Macromedia Flash. It also uses Flash as a tool to make sense of reality regarding global warming, the environment, clean energy, and electric cars.

The project has relied on image technology that enables designers to afford high-levels of compression and resize images to fit the screen without losing their qualities. The project communicates using multi-sensory approaches and takes advantage of the multimedia philosophy of usability (Moggridge, 2007).

We can see the physical form of message portrayed in the digital form. This has the ability to enhance interactivity using computer-based information. The project displays various interfaces, which strive to communicate the value of electric cars amidst global warming.

Through a combination of three elements of multimedia, the project site achieves information design, usability, and experiences functional design. The user can command the animation to follow the cursor, which leads to another information or idea. At the same time, it highlights a design of simplicity that leads to new information whenever the animation moves.

The use of metaphor also applies in computer designs as Lawler indicates (Lawler, 1999). In this project, we have animations to represent metaphor in designing. For instance, the animation moves about and responds to the cursor. It then goes about to tilt its head and follows the direction of the cursor and interacts with various animations on its way.

The designer also presents this project as fun and game to reflect metaphor. For instance, the animation cannot plunge into the water as all blocks of ice melt due to global warming. The image gets its energy from natural sources like wind and sun. As it moves along, there are games and fun along the way. For instance, in stage five, the user must find the route for the runner in order to get the visual text at the end of the stage.

The project makes use of the multiple representation principle. This principle maintains that the site should have words and pictures rather than words alone. However, the project also adds sound to the presentation. Thus, users can associate the animation and audio with the site in order to understand information. This enhances usability and achieves the effect of multimedia in Web site design.

The site also uses contiguity principle. In this case, the project displays both multimedia elements with corresponding explanations at the end of the animation journey rather than separately. This idea enables users to understand information the project presents when the animation leads them to the end of the page.

However, users have to engage in some games in order to discover messages corresponding to the animation displayed. This method sustains curiosity of users and reinforces metaphors in the project design. Such combinations of approaches allow users to master the message of the project about green energy and electric cars. This is a contiguity effect. The project should be able to reinforce the message through multimedia effect as corresponding elements of messages take effects on users.

This project does not follow the principle of split-attention. This is because words do not come in forms of auditory narration. Instead, they come as visual on-screen texts (Mayer, 2002). This principle shows that the designer “should present words in auditory form rather than visually” (Mayer, 2002). This is because users who view animation depicts clean energy and electric cars have high rates of memory than those who read the text on the screen. In this case, narration should enhance information processing of the user.

The project uses coherence principle of multimedia in design. This involves the use of few words and pictures. In this context, the site can enhance usability because users can find and process information they need fast. In addition, the method also promotes functionality of the site. This is because the site provides simple ways of gaining access to database-driven contents like texts by navigating the site.

The target audience

The project creates awareness for many groups. The obvious targets are car owners. At the same time, it shows the need to share energy among car users in the future. It also highlights the need to create awareness among people in the world about electric cars and green energy.

Nissan aims to make electric cars imperative parts of everyday life in order to eliminate forms of pollution from current cars. This is an Eco-friendly initiative based on technology. The initiative also targets kids through their parents who use Nissan LEAF. The company aims to be a sustainability mobility provider.

The navigation and narrative structure of the project

The designer uses a navigation technique that relies on clicking the numbers at the bottom of the screen in order to gain access to the next idea or information. The navigation and narrative structures enable users to navigate freely as they explore next sites. This project has a seamless structure that loads fast.

Thus, it encourages users to explore all other areas of the site. First, the designer creates a link that takes users back to the home page. Consequently, users can trace their ways back and search for different information with a single click. The sign is at the bottom of the site on the left-hand side.

Second, the site also has a row on numbers at the bottom to take users to any page they wish to visit. Users can easily tell their locations within the site.

Third, the designer used long pages to create the Web site. Therefore, the designer uses page jumps to allow access to other sections. A single click enables users to gain access to other parts of the site. The single, click without too much scrolling, enhances usability of the site. However, the does not have the ‘Back to Top’ link because user do not have to scroll to the bottom of the page.

Fourth, the project home page shows all contents the user can view by moving the cursor around the image. This design makes the navigation structure user-friendly.

Finally, the designer has balanced navigation and the number of pages. The navigation structure is simple to enhance usability of the site. At the same time, the pages are not long.

At the end of every page, the text narrative presents what users ought to know along the background tempo. Some of the narratives, on a single click, reveal that most systems of the future shall run on clean energy.

Assets of the project and their roles

All assets reflect the concept of green energy and zero emission. For instance, the home page has the green plant, which emphasises the project message of green energy and electric cars. At the same time, the project also highlights some advantages, which electric cars have such as remote control, gaining access to rooms, and wireless charging systems.

Further, the project warns car users that not all cars shall gain access to all places. However, electric cars can get access to anywhere. For instance, in Europe, there are electric cars preferential areas such as natural parks and urban areas.


The project has relied on Macromedia Flash in order to create interactive Web site. The designer took into account aesthetics. This reflected the professional look and feel of the Web site. The aesthetic objective is consistent with the clean energy, electric car, and concerns from global warming that Nissan shows.

It also has usability advantages. This is because users can easily locate data they need by a single click on numbers at the bottom of the page. The Flash also enhances the functionality of the Web site because users can easily navigate to various information they require.

Reference List

Eccher, C 2011, Professional Web Design: Techniques and Templates, 4th edn, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.

Lawler, J 1999, . Web.

Manovich, L n.d., Generation Flash. Web.

Mayer, R 2002, ‘Cognitive Theory and the Design of Multimedia Instruction: An Example of the Two-Way Street Between Cognition and Instruction’, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 89, pp. 55-70.

Moggridge, B 2007 Designing Interactions, The MIT Press, Cambridge.

Nielsen, J 2000, . Web.

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