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  • ReMIX10 : summary

    Posted on October 3rd, 2010 Thibaut No comments

    ReMIX10

    Last Tuesday, I assisted to the 2010 edition of the ReMIX, reedition of the popular MIX event. As usual, two tracks were available : web developer and UX. My current focus being Silverlight, I assisted exclusively to the UX track. Below, you’ll find my notes about the sessions.

    Opening keynote

    IE 9

    Silverlight 4

    Windows Phone 7

    • Silverlight & XNA support
      • Silverlight : for applications
      • XNA : for games
    • Free version of Blend dedicated to Windows Phone development
    • Demos of games on the phone. Companies such as Fishing Cactus presented their games for WP7

    Natural interface

    Session #1 : design venture

    • Prensented by Georg Petschnigg from Microsoft Pioneer Studios
    • Bringing design and business together
    • 2 points :
      • technology knowledge (languages, tools, …)
      • open vision on the world, cultures, etc to be creative and to innovate
    • Innovation process :
      Innovation process
    • From insight to core idea :
      • What’s unique about you
      • What does the world need
    • Observe people, their habits : find new ideas and ways to improve
    • From core idea to product : the three reads in industrial design
      • Eye : what you see
      • Touch : material, feeling
      • Use : does it suits my needs ?
    • Translate them in software :
      • Form (eye) : look & feel
      • Touch : controls
      • Use : features
    • Three reads of industrial design are from top to bottom (first attracted by what you see, then you touch it and use it if you like it)
    • Three reads of software design are from bottom to top
    • Importance of visual designers now : with all new rich web technologies (HTML 5, Silverlight, …), your product can be beautiful, more simple, and visual designers can add “life” to it
    • Passion is key to outstanding quality work. Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel). You must have a “soul” in your work, enjoy people you’re working with to be great at creating and innovating

    Session #2 : UX Superpowers with Expression Blend 4

    • Presented by Arturo Toledo (Microsoft)
    • MVVM support
    • New pixel shader effects
    • New shapes (clouds, comics bubble, …)
    • Path layout : items added and layed on a path (one of the best features of Expression Blend 4, see example below). Items automatically arranged as they are added/removed, can be animated along the path, …
      Path layout
    • Examples of applications using path layout : organic menu, etc
    • Lots of demos of the new stuff

    Session #3 : Windows Phone 7 design principles

    WP7

    • Presented by kat Holmes and Karen Davis (from Microsoft WP7 team)
    • Design principles for WP7 : colors, information architecture : remain consistent with Microsoft guidelines, use of Blend for WP7 is strongly suggested so you work on the base of these guidelines
    • Presentation of the two main screen layouts for WP7 :
      • Panorama : when your content is not best suited to be redueced to fit screen size : keep it large
      • Pivot : more traditional layout, where all information can be on one page
    • 3 key points for WP7 development :
      • Personal : familiar and thus easy to use
      • Relevant : don’t overdo, focus on content
      • Connected : compliment, don’t duplicate existing features or applications

    Session #4 : a website life, from sketch to publishing

    • Presented by Arturo Toledo (Microsoft)
    • WebMatrix : 3 tools :
      • IIS Express (instead of Cassini : no more bad surprises because Cassini was different than IIS)
      • SQL Server Compact : local, file-based DB
      • ASP.NET Web Pages (new script syntax : Razor)
    • Concept of code helpers. Eg : @Twitter.Profile(”ThibautVS”) displays a list of my tweets
    • Can run SEO reports, giving you hints on how to improve your search engines friendliness
    • Most of the presentation consisted of coding examples using the new, powerful Razor syntax.
    • More information in this MSDN article : How WebMatrix, Razor, ASP.NET Web Pages and MVC fit together

    Conclusion

    It’s always nice to participate to such events because it enables you to maintain a vision of the Microsoft technologies landscape. Then you can pick up what you’re interested in and start a deep dive into it. That’s exactly what I’m doing with Silverlight 4, Expression Blend 4 and HTML 5. See you next year ;)

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