EffectiveUI, with the help of Microsoft, launched a new Website for the Navy's Blue Angels flight squadron using Silverlight, HTML5 and other popular Web technologies.
Who said using Microsoft's Silverlight
or HTML5 was an either/or decision?
and Microsoft teamed up to
launch a new interactive Website for the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron,
the Blue Angels, using Silverlight, HTML5 and motion graphics.
In an interview with eWEEK, EffectiveUI
and Microsoft officials said HTML5 and Silverlight
deliver an immersive user experience
(UX), bringing viewers a
Blue Angels air show in a way that's never before been seen except by the
pilots. The Blue Angels Website
gives the U.S. Navy and
Marines the ability to create compelling, effective content that reaches a wide
audience at a low cost, said Anthony Franco, president of EffectiveUI.
EffectiveUI, Microsoft and Blue Angels
representatives showcased the new Blue Angels' Website at the Microsoft MIX11
conference in Las Vegas in mid-April.
To create the most engaging experience
to reach the widest number of people, platforms and devices, the site was built
in HTML5 with Canvas and jQuery, and optimized for Internet Explorer 9.
Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming provided a seamless HD video playback
experience that reduces the need for buffering and dynamically adjusts to
provide the best possible quality based on the viewer's connection speed. This
combination of technologies allowed the EffectiveUI and Microsoft teams to push
the performance of the site to a high level.
Using the Silverlight technology with
HTML5 also allowed the team to make the Website accessible for persons with
disabilities, which is critical for this government entity, said Chad Bakeman,
technical lead at EffectiveUI. The site was built using Microsoft ASP.NET
technology, making it easy to maintain and leaving the Blue Angels organization
to focus on the goals of the site, not site maintenance, Bakeman said
The site also integrates with Bing
Maps, giving viewers a bird's-eye view of air show locations and dates, Bakeman
"When we first engaged in this
project, we knew we had to collaborate with a team that really understood
emotive user experience, as well as Microsoft technologies and how to use them
to create a technically precise and inspiring Website for the Blue Angels,"
said Mike Downey, principal evangelist for Platform Evangelism at Microsoft, in
a statement. "The EffectiveUI team rolled up their sleeves and created an
immersive, high-performance site that delivers the same adrenaline you get from
a live air show."
Some industry observers had depicted an
internal struggle at Microsoft over whether to promote Silverlight or HTML5
prompting a blog post by leaders in the Microsoft Developer Division
to explain that the company's strategy is simply to provide the best tools for the right situations
When deciding to create a new site, the
Blue Angels wanted to capture the intensity of the organization, as well as the
precision and accuracy that goes into flying the F/A-18 Hornet and C-130
Hercules. Each year, more than 14 million spectators watch the Blue Angels
perform at air shows across the country, said Lt. Katie Kelly, U.S. Navy Blue
Angels. Now, even more can witness the thrilling flight demonstrations from the
perspective that, until now, has only been available to the pilots themselves, Kelly
Since the home page makes the first
impression on every visitor-regardless of platform or device-the team employed
HTML5 with dynamic content and social media integrated via ASP.NET, while
Canvas and jQuery provided the structure for the site's main navigation, Franco
said. The performance of this content is optimized with Internet Explorer 9,
particularly with regard to animating the user interface over a large,