Help me help my friend make her website juuuuust right
April 9, 2008 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a solution for a flash based photography website to not look small on big monitors, and not look too big on small monitors.

Asking for a friend:
She has a flash-based photography website. It is often viewed on large monitors, but sometimes on smaller ones. When art directors look at her site on a large monitor, it shows up rather small, because the site is in a fixed width/height frame. If she were to have this site built at a bigger fixed-width, ADs looking at her site on small monitors would be forced to scroll left/right and up/down to see all of the content. She talked with several programmers about the option of having the flash site scale according to monitor size/browser window, and the response has been that this is too hard, or they don't know how to, or if they do, they're an sky high expensive design firm.

What are her best options for the site? Is having the site scale feasible (both programming and cost-wise)? Should she have it built bigger for better photograph viewing on large monitors (and not worrying about the scrolling on smaller ones), or leave it as is?

posted by iamkimiam to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here's a tutorial at Dynamic Layout Control
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 4:46 PM on April 9, 2008

Simple Viewer creates scaling images. You set a maximum size but the image gets smaller if needed. (Self-link here. Drag your browser window smaller and you'll see the image gets smaller to match.)

Granted, this is just a gallery, not a whole website, but it might get you on the right road.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:58 PM on April 9, 2008

You can't query a monitor's dpi, so you are pretty much out of luck. The standard DPI for most monitors is around 80-90, so I would design for that.
posted by mphuie at 5:00 PM on April 9, 2008

My bad, I read the question wrong, you're not going for consistent size.

There are some scripts on that will detect screen resolution and resize the browser. But personally, I rather not have a web site control the size of my browser window.
posted by mphuie at 5:09 PM on April 9, 2008 works pretty well for scaling that, and it's embeddable.
posted by sully75 at 5:32 PM on April 9, 2008

Best answer: Flash (at least AS3) allows you to access the current size of the stage, and also permits you to add a callback whenever the 'stage' is resized, so it's possible to make screen-size aware layouts. To retrofit an existing site would not necessarily be rocket science, but if it had a layout of any complexity, it would certainly be labor intensive (and depending on how many source files are bitmap rather than vector, impossible). Considering that consultant Flash programming starts at $100 an hour and goes up, this could easily place such work outside of the ability of an individual to pay.

The first thing I would do is to change the "embed/object" tags to a percentage width and height (100%) in both cases and see if she obtains satisfactory results. If not, she should decide how much it is worth to her and ask someone to give her a ballpark estimate. Realistically, if it's a big enough deal to her she should plan on building a new website.
posted by fishfucker at 6:17 PM on April 9, 2008

oh, and to the last question about rather she should shoot larger or smaller if she can't go dynamic:

My personal preference is for no photos larger than 800x600 (but with a link to view the original size, which your browser will auto-zoom), and layouts no larger than 1024x768, but this is because i still do a significant amount of browsing on an older 1024x768 laptop. Many people are at 1280x1024 these days, but layouts targetted for 1024x768 don't look terrible in them. People who are much above 1280 are going to see a lot of other websites that don't look good at their resolution anyways, so screw 'em for being early adopters.

If her target audience is primarily art directors, I think it's reasonable to assume they will be running *at least* 1280x1024, though.
posted by fishfucker at 6:27 PM on April 9, 2008

bananalbum can do it.
posted by rbs at 7:12 PM on April 9, 2008

Best answer: bananalbum is pretty cool. Here's a sample.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 3:45 PM on April 11, 2008

I know it's doable - Google Video does this, though I don't know exactly how.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:05 PM on April 11, 2008

Best answer: What happens if you put the Flash file up in a frame/iframe by itself, without the html surrounding it to give it a certain size?

I just tried it with this (page here), & it automatically scaled within the browser.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:49 PM on April 13, 2008

Best answer: Yes, exactly, a SWF file without html will indeed scale to the window size. I don't recommend doing an entire site in Flash, however, even though that is becoming more and more popular. There are several drawbacks, such as not having search-engine indexable text, and pages not being directly linkable. But I use them for gallery pages, simply because I think Flash is a good medium for such things, and there are numerous tools to automate the process.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:31 PM on April 13, 2008

« Older How to fuel a little city girl's love of farming?   |   Is there a name for this? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.