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Web Design in a Nutshell by Jennifer Niederst

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Chapter 21. Interactivity

The Web, built on the concept of hyperlinking from document to document, is an interactive medium by nature. However, the vast majority of documents are modeled after static, print layouts.

“Interactivity,” as used in this chapter, refers to ways to make a web page less like a printed page and more like a CD-ROM or kiosk interface. Some features that set these media apart from print are:

  • motion

  • integrated sound effects

  • elements (such as buttons) that respond to the position of the cursor

  • the ability for the user to manipulate what is on the screen

  • animation and video

This chapter looks at some available technologies and techniques for adding enhanced interactivity to web pages. It begins with overviews of two plug-in technologies, the Flash and Shockwave players, both from Macromedia. Next, it discusses adding Java applets to web pages. Finally, it provides two JavaScripts for making graphics interactive with “rollover” effects.

Dynamic HTML (DHMTL), another increasingly popular alternative for adding motion and interactivity to web pages, is discussed in Chapter 24, in Part V of this book.

Flash

Flash is a ground-breaking multimedia format developed by Macromedia. Flash gives you the ability to create full-screen animation, interactive graphics, and integrated audio clips, all at remarkably small file sizes. Its magic lies in that it is a vector-based format (rather than bitmap), resulting in extremely compact files well-suited for web delivery.

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