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Bluefire in 2008

Believe it or not, 2008 was a great year for us.  We continued to work in the Digital Publishing arena, which we are really into. We did a few projects in the mobile space, which was a goal going into the year.  And in the fall we got a new client - the Flash Platform team at Adobe.  Given that we’ve always been a huge fan (and user) of Flash Player since the FutureSplash days it was very meaningful to us to do some R&D and a product demo for them.  I’ll try to blog about the various projects in some detail, but here’s an overview of our 2008 work:

  • Adobe Digital Editions 1.5 -  UX design and Flex dev on this update that added content portability and support for the Sony Reader Digital Book.
  • Adobe Content Server 4 Admin Console -  UX design and Flex dev of the admin console for Adobe’s new digital publishing and distribution management tool.
  • Dexter Widget 1.5 - UX design and Flex dev to update a book preview Flex widget that added customizable styles,  fluid layout to work in a variety of sizes and screens,  and mySpace compatibility.
  • World Class Text Tour - Creative and Flex dev on this interactive marketing piece that showcases the world languages and text layout features of Flash Player 10 and the Text Layout Framework.
  • Mogreet Widget - Flash dev on this widget for sending fun video messages to mobile devices.
  • Sumisho Website - Design and HTML on major update to a site we had done in a previous year.
  • Mobile Application - UI designs for an un-announced mobile application: iphone and windows mobile versions.

Another highlight of 2008 was a trip we took to Manhattan in October.  We were there meeting with a bunch of big publishing houses, and pitching them on the promise of rich media eBooks ( EPUB and PDF both support Flash content in Adobe Digital Editions).  After several days of meetings our wives flew in for a 4 day weekend, and we did the tourist thing. Wow, NY really is a great city.  It helped to have our colleague Nick Bogaty from Adobe’s NY office show us around the town.  Thanks again Nick!  Can’t wait for next time.

Goals for 2009

Well, we are still very passionate about the digital publishing space, and we think it is going to see big growth despite the economy, so we’ll be there for sure.  One thing that might surprise some of our colleagues is that we also plan to aggressively go after Silverlight work.  Yup, you heard it.  We still love Flash and all, but with the October release of Silverlight, it is for real now.  We can’t continue to claim to be experts in RIA development if we aren’t intimately familiar with Silverlight, and while we’ve followed Silverlight development closely, you can’t really be an expert if you don’t do real-world projects.  So don’t hold it against us.  It will just make us better.


Micah Bowers is the UX director at Seattle-based interactive agency Bluefire Productions.

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