Archive for February, 2006

Sliding, Moving, Panning, Shifting Sites

February 8, 2006

Understanding McLuhan

In 1996 I helped create a CD ROM on Marshal McLuhan entitled “Understanding McLuhan”. It featured many tools that are still on the forefront of our technology. These were video transcription with highlighting lines that followed the video. The text was clickable to jump to the video at that location. Exportable markers were available for sharing.

Interface was definitely on my mind as I prepared to make the promotional site. What was chosen was a single “page” that would shift or slide to various locations that would traditionally be thought of as another page. About 40 pages were loaded in a big grid. This would mean a larger initial download but then an instant transition through the content.

Sliding, Moving, Panning, Shifting Sites

In 1998 I explored Flash 3 to use a similar “single page” shifting or sliding site for the main interface into Dan Zen. This would be a large map and the visitor would use their mouse to move along the map – as they did so, the map beneath would shift leading them to different promotional spots. Certain jump points would rapidly animate the map to indicated designations. But you never left the single environment. Flash 3 could not properly handle this so other interfaces were used.

Later versions of Flash have no difficulty handling this type of interface and indeed we are seeing interfaces like this. Here are three examples: [simple dragging example] [motion graphics – ignore the pencil] [commercial usage]

I am not sure if there is a name for this type of interface but would like to propose a vote to see if we can recommend one. You are welcome to comment to suggest other names. Here is the Tapoll predict-a-poll page to vote! Have fun.




Currently, ZenPan is being worked on which will let a visitor pan a big picture or Flash file and see comments along the way. This would be good to analyze pictures or plans or to see pan over a Web site. It also includes a zoom out or in.

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