If you have been visiting us for awhile, you will have noticed that we have been regularly making changes to the site.  Recently, more and more of those changes have involved using the Adobe Flash Platform. Flash is a web technology that allows for RIAs – we’re geeks, so we like acronyms. An RIA is a Rich Internet Application and really the meat and potatoes of the whole Web 2.0 thing.  It’s possible that some of you are not as excited by these changes as we are, so let’s identify a few of the places where you’ll find Flash on the imageMEDIA.com web site and the advantages that we seek to bring to you.

Product Calculators

You’ll notice the product calculators, such as postcard printing pricing calculator, that enable you to quickly experiment and determine the pricing and turnaround various options.  Previously, our ordering system took a multi-step approach designed to guide you through the process.  That system is still in place, actually.  The product calculators try to cover the most commonly configured items and place you as far along in the process as possible – in many cases you are ready to checkout immediately – but you can always back up to make changes if you need to.

Order checkout

Speaking of checkout, we consolidated several steps in the ordering process into a single Flash application.  Uploading files has not always been so easy.  A plain HTML page can only upload one file at a time and attempts to get around this limitation has hard to predict success for all of the various combinations of computer and browser types; out last file upload utility did not play nicely with Internet Explorer 6.  Now, however, the uploading is done in a clean interface that is shared by all of our visitors, regardless of browser type, and can handle multiple files in one session.  After uploading, you can immediately transition to final checkout.  Here, we have improved how you can add credit cards, enter promotions, redeem blue points, and even help us in our sustainability project by contributing to plant a blueberry plant.  All of these things, including processing payment, occur without the delay of switching pages.

Direct Mail Pricing Calculator

In addition to the above, we have also created a Mailing Services Price Estimator to give you an easier way to calculate your mailing campaign costs.  This tool allows you to quickly see your bottom line costs after all the campaign costs, such as printing, postage and list use are factored in.  By using Flash, you can make changes and quickly see the impact on your bottom line.

Custom Quote Request

Another great tool that we have created to assist you is our custom printing order request form.  We know that some projects just can’t be chosen from a list and Flash has enabled us to receive your specifications in both quantitative and qualitative ways – hard numbers and general impressions of your requirements.

Online Design

Of course, the biggest Flash applications on the site are the online design tools.  The Business Card Designer was conceived to be a quick way to generate a compelling contact card for you and your organization, while the DesignLive online print design system is for postcards and projects that need to be saved.

Customer Service Tools

And we have other tools that are designed for customer service agents and production staff to ensure prompt, efficient attention to all of our orders.  For instance, the other side of the quote request is a Flash system that enables an agent to immediately see the request and to create a solution tailored to the desired specifications.

Adobe Flash enables us to create compelling experiences that enable you to get the information that you require so that you can make an informed decision and it allows us to support you know matter what your desired desktop internet browser.  Look for us to continue to roll out new services in Flash, as well as to revisit these existing ones as we continue to receive feedback.