Gingerbread house builder – TELUS holiday 2008 card

Just a quick post, while it is still the time, to bring you to the Gingerbread house builder we did for TELUS. I think it is a pretty little piece of flash that is fun and will make you smile. As it is the costum with holiday cards, the deadline was really tight but I think we managed well. This small rich internet application is packed with features that if you don’t stop to look, you won’t notice.

First the send to friend option actually sends a picture of the gingerbread house you built which was very nice to program. I had to take a screenshot(bitmapData.draw) of the House MovieClip encode it in JPEG (using as3corelib) and send it to the server. Next nifty detail is the print version of the recipe which also includes a picture of your creation. It wasn’t something really complicated to do considering I mostly used the send to friend code and put it in a PrintJob. Lastly, to save the recipe to PDF, instead of simply doing a navigateToURL to the PDF location, which would have opened a new tab in the browser with the PDF in it, I used to pop the download window so that the file is directly downloaded.

Independently these attentions might not seem like much, but if you put it all together the user won’t notice it but he will still feel this is a better application, without knowing why. Don’t get me wrong, I’m am not saying that the TELUS holiday card is the best application out there; I am saying that paying attention to details is what makes the difference between a nice application and a great one.

In that sense, I think there are stuff we could have done better. Mostly sound wise, to emphasize the meerkat (that is the name of the current TELUS critter) sneaking to take a bite on your gingerbread house. I’m not good at all in audio and when it comes to it I need help, and sound is somewhat not needed to make a website / application functionnal and beautiful, so it is often forgotten. But I will make sure in following projects to give it the proper time.

As I always do here is a list of the libraries I used to build it:

Well that’s it, enjoy your holidays, I surely will!

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  1. #1 by madison hudson - December 26th, 2008 at 06:09

    Nice quality blog post, very usefull information. thanks

  2. #2 by Elizabeth - October 17th, 2009 at 15:36

    What a neat idea! If any readers are in NC maybe they can get inspiration for design at the Raleigh Gingerbread House Competition. It has significant prizes so the submissions should be good. The display will be open to the public throughout the holiday season. More information is available at

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