Due to quite a short deadline, parts of the site had to be timeline based instead of our usual, scripted approach. It’s always quite annoying having to integrate designer created flash into your app – movieclips not being top-left aligned, scaled or just simple unnamed. It’s mainly just a case of looking at the component parts of the design and seeing how much easier it would be to create and control the layout/animation through pure code. It just takes a little longer sometimes 🙁
The map section was fun to build – it has a floating preview box that moves floats to the mouse whenever the user rolls over a map item, displaying a title and preview image. Clicking the item zooms into the map and shows the content. Also, on navigating away from most sections, the views destroy themselves with a bleaching effect. This is done by transitioning through the colour object, pushing the RGB values up towards 255. Nice effect.
The site, although only deployed to a single market/language is content managed and most of the data and images are loaded and manipulated at runtime. To ensure fastest possible delivery, we implemented dual caching. This is achieved by creating an internal cache in the app that stores the data requests and resultant raw XML strings in a dedicated class, serving back the cached data if any request is re-submitted during a user’s session.
At the same time, we developed a simple server-side data caching system to serve up cached XML files instead of generating XML from scratch every time duplicate data is requested. Any un-cached requests are generated and then saved to file automatically.