Friday, November 21, 2008

Flash Catalyst in the Wild!

Adobe released a 'MAX Preview' of the anxiously awaited Flash Catalyst (Thermo) this year at the MAX conference. Catalyst is a design centric application that allows a designer to work in tools they are graphically comfortable in - Photoshop, Fireworks, Illustrator - and import them into Catalyst to add expressive functionality all the while creating a working Flex application.

The preview is well executed but does have a 'raw' feel to it. The full application is not expected for a year... or at least that was the general statement from Adobe folks. There are a limited number of components available at this time but when the application reaches a public beta, I would expect quite a few more to be added.

The one thing that Catalyst does seem to be ready for right now is it's use as a wireframing tool! In fact, Catalyst might be THE wireframing tool of choice for experience design professionals. On the flight home from San Francisco, I was able to make 5 or 6 different versions of an application that Christian, Joe, and I have been kicking around! These are fully immersive wireframe models with clickable areas and transitions from state to state. They give the very lo-fidelity prototype 'teeth' that can be evaluated and iterated upon. It's exciting to see the potential! I'll post screen shots and some samples soon.

1 comment:

Christian Saylor said...

Yeah I agree that Flash Catalyst (Thermo) will be an impeding powerhouse handshake between the designer and developer communities but in its current state certainly needs some refinements. I look forward to seeing some of your wires, maybe i'll even throw some of mine into the mix!