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Flash 8 Best Practices

Macromedia Flash designers and developers must structure applications in a way that is intuitive and beneficial to themselves as well as other people working on the same project. This is particularly important in FLA files with lots of assets. When you follow best practices, everyone on the design and development team can understand the file structure and can work more efficiently. This document helps formalize the Flash development process.

Because it is common for more than one designer or developer to work on a single Flash project, teams benefit when everyone follows a standard set of guidelines for using Flash and organizing FLA files. The sections in this document outline the best practices for organizing and structuring your Flash files, maintaining version control, optimizing for output, and making the best use of behaviors, screens, and video. Some sections of Flash Help (Help > Getting Started in Flash) or the Flash 8 LiveDocs cover best practices when using the Flash authoring tool.

The following guidelines encourage consistency for people learning how to use Flash. Adopt best practices at all times, whether you are a designer or developer, or working alone or as part of a team:

  • When you work on Flash documents: Adopting consistent and efficient practices helps you speed up your workflow. It is easier to understand and remember how you structured your document when you want to edit it further.
  • When you share FLA files: Other people editing the document can quickly find and edit the project’s assets.
  • When you work on applications: Multiple authors can work on an application with fewer conflicts and greater efficiency. Project or site administrators can manage and structure complex projects or applications with fewer conflicts or redundancies if you follow best practices.
  • When you are learning or teaching Flash: Learning how to build applications by using best practices reduces the need to relearn particular methodologies. If students practice consistent and better ways to structure applications, they might learn Flash more quickly and with less frustration.

Consistent techniques and the following guidelines help people learning Flash, or people working effectively in team environments. Consistent methods help you remember how you structured your document when you work by yourself, particularly if you have not worked on the FLA file recently. These are only a few of the reasons to learn and follow best practices. You are bound to discover many more when you read these best practices and develop your own good habits.