Is anybody using Microsoft Expression Blend

5 Mar 2007 - 3:59pm
3 years ago
24 replies
1425 reads
Pawson, Mark
2007

I have searched the archives for discussions on prototyping tools and
although the new Expression toolset
http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/default.mspx
is mentioned, there are no posts on anyone using it. Is anyone using the
Expression Blend beta for rich desktop apps and if so how have you
found it? I recently purchased Axure because it was the first
prototyping tool that I have been happy with where I can drop and drag
Gui controls onto a palette, incorporate screen caps of our existing
apps, put "some" logic into the prototype, and finally create click
through prototypes. Also the Specification documentation, although too
structured is useful. Should I switch to Expression Blend?

And I cannot help myself. Personally I found the above site to be a
good example of a horrible website for conveying information. It took
me 1.5 hours of deciphering to understand what the Expression product
suite was, and that for my needs Expression Blend was the tool to pay
attention too. All this was experienced in the context of having some
knowledge through a colleague as to why I was on this site in the
first place!

Mark Pawson
User Centered Design team
IHS

Comments

6 Mar 2007 - 10:45am
Becubed
2004

> Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta
> for rich desktop apps...

Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.

FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far so good.
I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather like a messy
work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it synchronizes
the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation very well; and as
someone who's learning CSS at the same time as Expression, the "split"
code/page view is quite effective.

--
Robert Barlow-Busch
Terapath Inc.
bbb at terapath.net

6 Mar 2007 - 11:31am
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi gang,

I'm in the middle of using Blend on a desktop application project and
I think if you are looking for a prototyping tool for its own sake, I
wouldn't use Blend YET! But if your project like mine is using WPF and
you want to find out ways to increase lifecycle efficiencies between
designers and developers then Blend is your tool.

Warnings:
Not a lot of support yet. The MS folks are trying to bend over
backwards for me but they just don't have enough to get my project
quickstarted.
The learning curve for folks familiar with Flash or nothing is going
to be high. It is written with a designer sensibility but then again,
it is also geared (I think too much) to work for developers as well.
Customizing your components is a bear

Good stuff:
If you are indeed using WPF, then you will be really happy with tool.
For example I was designing a tabbed interface and well without a lick
of scripting the tabs worked both in the design tool and in the
running application.

Apology on behalf of MS:
This is a 1.0 out and well not even released yet tool, so maybe a lot
of this stuff will be dealt with in the release. They definitely need
a lot more support.
I remember when Flash MX came out (their first advertised RIA design
version), they had courses and books out of the box for the tool and
it made my ramp up on the tool soooo much easier. I would expect that
a company the size of MS would have this 10 fold when entering a
market as hostile to MS as this one.

Last little thing (and I know they know this). ... Why in the world is
it not integrated with Visio? Talk about the biggest opportunity loss
EVER!!!!! Visio is the Windows standard for IA and IxD and the fact
they didn't do this out of the gate shows me that they REALLY didn't
do their research homework other than: 1) make it work for the
Developer flow and 2) compete directly with Flash. The only other
excuse is that Blend is in developer tools and Visio is in Office and
well they are too darned siloed to create the links. #1 lame excuse
ever for a company that is trying to be "progressive" right now.

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Robert Barlow-Busch <bbb at terapath.net> wrote:
> > Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta
> > for rich desktop apps...
>
> Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.
>
> FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far so good.
> I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather like a messy
> work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it synchronizes
> the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation very well; and as
> someone who's learning CSS at the same time as Expression, the "split"
> code/page view is quite effective.
>
> --
> Robert Barlow-Busch
> Terapath Inc.
> bbb at terapath.net
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Mar 2007 - 1:43pm
Nasir Barday
2006

TotalTraining has a training product out for Expression Web, the only
released product in the Expression suite, as of yet. Not sure if they're
working on training for Blend and Designer.

I wouldn't use Blend for anything production (MS even warns against it). I
ignored that and tried to use it for a prototype last year and learned my
lesson. Hard. :-)

I've had the latest copy of the suite for a while, but haven't gotten around
to kicking the tires. Will post impressions to the list or link to a
bloggified review when I do.

- Nasir

6 Mar 2007 - 1:46pm
russwilson
2005

The first thought that crosses my mind is "why invest
in learning yet another tool/platform?"

Do the benefits outweight the investment?

And, how many tools/platforms can/should we master?
Sure, someone can say "it's another tool to add to your
toolchest", but doesn't the investment in learning and
adopting this tool take away from further mastery of another?

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
David Malouf
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:32 AM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression Blend

Hi gang,

I'm in the middle of using Blend on a desktop application project and I
think if you are looking for a prototyping tool for its own sake, I
wouldn't use Blend YET! But if your project like mine is using WPF and
you want to find out ways to increase lifecycle efficiencies between
designers and developers then Blend is your tool.

Warnings:
Not a lot of support yet. The MS folks are trying to bend over backwards
for me but they just don't have enough to get my project quickstarted.
The learning curve for folks familiar with Flash or nothing is going to
be high. It is written with a designer sensibility but then again, it is
also geared (I think too much) to work for developers as well.
Customizing your components is a bear

Good stuff:
If you are indeed using WPF, then you will be really happy with tool.
For example I was designing a tabbed interface and well without a lick
of scripting the tabs worked both in the design tool and in the running
application.

Apology on behalf of MS:
This is a 1.0 out and well not even released yet tool, so maybe a lot of
this stuff will be dealt with in the release. They definitely need a lot
more support.
I remember when Flash MX came out (their first advertised RIA design
version), they had courses and books out of the box for the tool and it
made my ramp up on the tool soooo much easier. I would expect that a
company the size of MS would have this 10 fold when entering a market as
hostile to MS as this one.

Last little thing (and I know they know this). ... Why in the world is
it not integrated with Visio? Talk about the biggest opportunity loss
EVER!!!!! Visio is the Windows standard for IA and IxD and the fact they
didn't do this out of the gate shows me that they REALLY didn't do their
research homework other than: 1) make it work for the Developer flow and
2) compete directly with Flash. The only other excuse is that Blend is
in developer tools and Visio is in Office and well they are too darned
siloed to create the links. #1 lame excuse ever for a company that is
trying to be "progressive" right now.

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Robert Barlow-Busch <bbb at terapath.net> wrote:
> > Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta for rich desktop apps...
>
> Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.
>
> FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far so
good.
> I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather like a

> messy work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it
> synchronizes the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation
> very well; and as someone who's learning CSS at the same time as
Expression, the "split"
> code/page view is quite effective.
>
> --
> Robert Barlow-Busch
> Terapath Inc.
> bbb at terapath.net
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ...........
> http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home .......................
http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

6 Mar 2007 - 1:53pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi Russell,

as I said in my statement, the only time I would consider this product
is if I was doing work on a WPF or WPF/E application where I want to
take advantage of the major selling point which is integrating my work
directly with the code.

Now, I may use web designer if I was working on an AJAX application. I
haven't used it yet. But it is definitely in my view.

As to the spirit of your question. Learn as few as you need to achieve
your job. :)
Great advantage of staying some place a long time is that you don't
have to constantly adapt to a new environment.

I.e. my boss is an Adobe old-school guy and so I'm being forced move
from my Macromedia world (think fireworks to photoshop). I am also
being forced to give up Visio and work in InDesign (not exact
equivalents).

If I just stayed put I wouldn't have to do this. ;)

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Wilson, Russell <Russell.Wilson at netqos.com> wrote:
> The first thought that crosses my mind is "why invest
> in learning yet another tool/platform?"
>
> Do the benefits outweight the investment?
>
> And, how many tools/platforms can/should we master?
> Sure, someone can say "it's another tool to add to your
> toolchest", but doesn't the investment in learning and
> adopting this tool take away from further mastery of another?
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> David Malouf
> Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:32 AM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression Blend
>
> Hi gang,
>
> I'm in the middle of using Blend on a desktop application project and I
> think if you are looking for a prototyping tool for its own sake, I
> wouldn't use Blend YET! But if your project like mine is using WPF and
> you want to find out ways to increase lifecycle efficiencies between
> designers and developers then Blend is your tool.
>
> Warnings:
> Not a lot of support yet. The MS folks are trying to bend over backwards
> for me but they just don't have enough to get my project quickstarted.
> The learning curve for folks familiar with Flash or nothing is going to
> be high. It is written with a designer sensibility but then again, it is
> also geared (I think too much) to work for developers as well.
> Customizing your components is a bear
>
> Good stuff:
> If you are indeed using WPF, then you will be really happy with tool.
> For example I was designing a tabbed interface and well without a lick
> of scripting the tabs worked both in the design tool and in the running
> application.
>
> Apology on behalf of MS:
> This is a 1.0 out and well not even released yet tool, so maybe a lot of
> this stuff will be dealt with in the release. They definitely need a lot
> more support.
> I remember when Flash MX came out (their first advertised RIA design
> version), they had courses and books out of the box for the tool and it
> made my ramp up on the tool soooo much easier. I would expect that a
> company the size of MS would have this 10 fold when entering a market as
> hostile to MS as this one.
>
> Last little thing (and I know they know this). ... Why in the world is
> it not integrated with Visio? Talk about the biggest opportunity loss
> EVER!!!!! Visio is the Windows standard for IA and IxD and the fact they
> didn't do this out of the gate shows me that they REALLY didn't do their
> research homework other than: 1) make it work for the Developer flow and
> 2) compete directly with Flash. The only other excuse is that Blend is
> in developer tools and Visio is in Office and well they are too darned
> siloed to create the links. #1 lame excuse ever for a company that is
> trying to be "progressive" right now.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On 3/6/07, Robert Barlow-Busch <bbb at terapath.net> wrote:
> > > Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta for rich desktop apps...
> >
> > Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.
> >
> > FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far so
> good.
> > I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather like a
>
> > messy work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it
> > synchronizes the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation
> > very well; and as someone who's learning CSS at the same time as
> Expression, the "split"
> > code/page view is quite effective.
> >
> > --
> > Robert Barlow-Busch
> > Terapath Inc.
> > bbb at terapath.net
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> > ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ...........
> > http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home .......................
> http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Mar 2007 - 2:00pm
russwilson
2005

Thanks David - do you think that (at least in the future)
the ultimate goal of these products is to help bridge
the gap better between developer and designer?
(i.e. better than Adobe does?)

I'm wondering if that is their strategy.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Malouf [mailto:dave.ixd at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 12:53 PM
To: Wilson, Russell
Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression Blend

Hi Russell,

as I said in my statement, the only time I would consider this product
is if I was doing work on a WPF or WPF/E application where I want to
take advantage of the major selling point which is integrating my work
directly with the code.

Now, I may use web designer if I was working on an AJAX application. I
haven't used it yet. But it is definitely in my view.

As to the spirit of your question. Learn as few as you need to achieve
your job. :) Great advantage of staying some place a long time is that
you don't have to constantly adapt to a new environment.

I.e. my boss is an Adobe old-school guy and so I'm being forced move
from my Macromedia world (think fireworks to photoshop). I am also being
forced to give up Visio and work in InDesign (not exact equivalents).

If I just stayed put I wouldn't have to do this. ;)

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Wilson, Russell <Russell.Wilson at netqos.com> wrote:
> The first thought that crosses my mind is "why invest in learning yet
> another tool/platform?"
>
> Do the benefits outweight the investment?
>
> And, how many tools/platforms can/should we master?
> Sure, someone can say "it's another tool to add to your toolchest",
> but doesn't the investment in learning and adopting this tool take
> away from further mastery of another?
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> David Malouf
> Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:32 AM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression
> Blend
>
> Hi gang,
>
> I'm in the middle of using Blend on a desktop application project and
> I think if you are looking for a prototyping tool for its own sake, I
> wouldn't use Blend YET! But if your project like mine is using WPF and

> you want to find out ways to increase lifecycle efficiencies between
> designers and developers then Blend is your tool.
>
> Warnings:
> Not a lot of support yet. The MS folks are trying to bend over
> backwards for me but they just don't have enough to get my project
quickstarted.
> The learning curve for folks familiar with Flash or nothing is going
> to be high. It is written with a designer sensibility but then again,
> it is also geared (I think too much) to work for developers as well.
> Customizing your components is a bear
>
> Good stuff:
> If you are indeed using WPF, then you will be really happy with tool.
> For example I was designing a tabbed interface and well without a lick

> of scripting the tabs worked both in the design tool and in the
> running application.
>
> Apology on behalf of MS:
> This is a 1.0 out and well not even released yet tool, so maybe a lot
> of this stuff will be dealt with in the release. They definitely need
> a lot more support.
> I remember when Flash MX came out (their first advertised RIA design
> version), they had courses and books out of the box for the tool and
> it made my ramp up on the tool soooo much easier. I would expect that
> a company the size of MS would have this 10 fold when entering a
> market as hostile to MS as this one.
>
> Last little thing (and I know they know this). ... Why in the world is

> it not integrated with Visio? Talk about the biggest opportunity loss
> EVER!!!!! Visio is the Windows standard for IA and IxD and the fact
> they didn't do this out of the gate shows me that they REALLY didn't
> do their research homework other than: 1) make it work for the
> Developer flow and
> 2) compete directly with Flash. The only other excuse is that Blend is

> in developer tools and Visio is in Office and well they are too darned

> siloed to create the links. #1 lame excuse ever for a company that is
> trying to be "progressive" right now.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On 3/6/07, Robert Barlow-Busch <bbb at terapath.net> wrote:
> > > Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta for rich desktop apps...
> >
> > Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.
> >
> > FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far
> > so
> good.
> > I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather like

> > a
>
> > messy work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it
> > synchronizes the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation
> > very well; and as someone who's learning CSS at the same time as
> Expression, the "split"
> > code/page view is quite effective.
> >
> > --
> > Robert Barlow-Busch
> > Terapath Inc.
> > bbb at terapath.net
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> > ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library
...........
> > http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
.......................
> http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ...........
> http://resources.ixda.org
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ...........
> http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Mar 2007 - 3:29pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I think that is EXACTLY!!!!! the strategy of these products.
They are made under the developer banner at MS for that reason and
that is why they integrate with Visual Studio more than Office apps.

As for Adobe, they are doing the same thing by creating a new
developer environment (AKA Flex) that works well with their Studio
apps (Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)

The difference is that MS KNOWS developers and Adobe KNOWS designers
and they are both trying to play catchup in the other's arena.

I think that Adobe has the advantage in this regard, but MS has the
advantage in that their "closed system" (WPF vs. Flash/Apollo) will be
on more systems. AND MS has a HUGE developer network (some 20million)
to help evangelize their products for them.

The designer community has a much harder task of evangelizing Adobe as
developers seem to be less experiemental. I'm not talking about the
open source community which loves to try the next new thing, but the
far majority of developers who have been trained and entrenched into
MS tools for the last 2 decades if not more.

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Wilson, Russell <Russell.Wilson at netqos.com> wrote:
> Thanks David - do you think that (at least in the future)
> the ultimate goal of these products is to help bridge
> the gap better between developer and designer?
> (i.e. better than Adobe does?)
>
> I'm wondering if that is their strategy.
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Malouf [mailto:dave.ixd at gmail.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 12:53 PM
> To: Wilson, Russell
> Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression Blend
>
> Hi Russell,
>
> as I said in my statement, the only time I would consider this product
> is if I was doing work on a WPF or WPF/E application where I want to
> take advantage of the major selling point which is integrating my work
> directly with the code.
>
> Now, I may use web designer if I was working on an AJAX application. I
> haven't used it yet. But it is definitely in my view.
>
> As to the spirit of your question. Learn as few as you need to achieve
> your job. :) Great advantage of staying some place a long time is that
> you don't have to constantly adapt to a new environment.
>
> I.e. my boss is an Adobe old-school guy and so I'm being forced move
> from my Macromedia world (think fireworks to photoshop). I am also being
> forced to give up Visio and work in InDesign (not exact equivalents).
>
> If I just stayed put I wouldn't have to do this. ;)
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On 3/6/07, Wilson, Russell <Russell.Wilson at netqos.com> wrote:
> > The first thought that crosses my mind is "why invest in learning yet
> > another tool/platform?"
> >
> > Do the benefits outweight the investment?
> >
> > And, how many tools/platforms can/should we master?
> > Sure, someone can say "it's another tool to add to your toolchest",
> > but doesn't the investment in learning and adopting this tool take
> > away from further mastery of another?
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> > David Malouf
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:32 AM
> > To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression
> > Blend
> >
> > Hi gang,
> >
> > I'm in the middle of using Blend on a desktop application project and
> > I think if you are looking for a prototyping tool for its own sake, I
> > wouldn't use Blend YET! But if your project like mine is using WPF and
>
> > you want to find out ways to increase lifecycle efficiencies between
> > designers and developers then Blend is your tool.
> >
> > Warnings:
> > Not a lot of support yet. The MS folks are trying to bend over
> > backwards for me but they just don't have enough to get my project
> quickstarted.
> > The learning curve for folks familiar with Flash or nothing is going
> > to be high. It is written with a designer sensibility but then again,
> > it is also geared (I think too much) to work for developers as well.
> > Customizing your components is a bear
> >
> > Good stuff:
> > If you are indeed using WPF, then you will be really happy with tool.
> > For example I was designing a tabbed interface and well without a lick
>
> > of scripting the tabs worked both in the design tool and in the
> > running application.
> >
> > Apology on behalf of MS:
> > This is a 1.0 out and well not even released yet tool, so maybe a lot
> > of this stuff will be dealt with in the release. They definitely need
> > a lot more support.
> > I remember when Flash MX came out (their first advertised RIA design
> > version), they had courses and books out of the box for the tool and
> > it made my ramp up on the tool soooo much easier. I would expect that
> > a company the size of MS would have this 10 fold when entering a
> > market as hostile to MS as this one.
> >
> > Last little thing (and I know they know this). ... Why in the world is
>
> > it not integrated with Visio? Talk about the biggest opportunity loss
> > EVER!!!!! Visio is the Windows standard for IA and IxD and the fact
> > they didn't do this out of the gate shows me that they REALLY didn't
> > do their research homework other than: 1) make it work for the
> > Developer flow and
> > 2) compete directly with Flash. The only other excuse is that Blend is
>
> > in developer tools and Visio is in Office and well they are too darned
>
> > siloed to create the links. #1 lame excuse ever for a company that is
> > trying to be "progressive" right now.
> >
> > -- dave
> >
> >
> > On 3/6/07, Robert Barlow-Busch <bbb at terapath.net> wrote:
> > > > Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta for rich desktop apps...
> > >
> > > Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.
> > >
> > > FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far
> > > so
> > good.
> > > I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather like
>
> > > a
> >
> > > messy work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it
> > > synchronizes the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation
> > > very well; and as someone who's learning CSS at the same time as
> > Expression, the "split"
> > > code/page view is quite effective.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Robert Barlow-Busch
> > > Terapath Inc.
> > > bbb at terapath.net
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> > > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> > > ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library
> ...........
> > > http://resources.ixda.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > David Malouf
> > http://synapticburn.com/
> > http://ixda.org/
> > http://motorola.com/
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> .......................
> > http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ...........
> > http://resources.ixda.org
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> > ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ...........
> > http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Mar 2007 - 3:43pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Alternatives to Visio:

Concept Draw
OmniGraffle (Mac Only)
Powerpoint

Gliph.com (online version is pretty neat!)

OminGraffle Pro will open the Visio XML file format.

-- dave

On 3/6/07, jayhilwig <jayhilwig at cablespeed.com> wrote:
> Working with Visio, even with a bit of rejiggering in Blend, would be
> fantastic. Visio is the one Office tool that doesn't have a decent equal as
> of yet... I have heard that trying to read the Visio format (.vsd) is
> difficult for non MS apps (hence you can't open VSD in Open Office).
> Wondering if Blend has other priorities or ?????
>
> Cheers
> _jay
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David
> Malouf
> Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 8:32 AM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression Blend
>
> Hi gang,
>
> I'm in the middle of using Blend on a desktop application project and
> I think if you are looking for a prototyping tool for its own sake, I
> wouldn't use Blend YET! But if your project like mine is using WPF and
> you want to find out ways to increase lifecycle efficiencies between
> designers and developers then Blend is your tool.
>
> Warnings:
> Not a lot of support yet. The MS folks are trying to bend over
> backwards for me but they just don't have enough to get my project
> quickstarted.
> The learning curve for folks familiar with Flash or nothing is going
> to be high. It is written with a designer sensibility but then again,
> it is also geared (I think too much) to work for developers as well.
> Customizing your components is a bear
>
> Good stuff:
> If you are indeed using WPF, then you will be really happy with tool.
> For example I was designing a tabbed interface and well without a lick
> of scripting the tabs worked both in the design tool and in the
> running application.
>
> Apology on behalf of MS:
> This is a 1.0 out and well not even released yet tool, so maybe a lot
> of this stuff will be dealt with in the release. They definitely need
> a lot more support.
> I remember when Flash MX came out (their first advertised RIA design
> version), they had courses and books out of the box for the tool and
> it made my ramp up on the tool soooo much easier. I would expect that
> a company the size of MS would have this 10 fold when entering a
> market as hostile to MS as this one.
>
> Last little thing (and I know they know this). ... Why in the world is
> it not integrated with Visio? Talk about the biggest opportunity loss
> EVER!!!!! Visio is the Windows standard for IA and IxD and the fact
> they didn't do this out of the gate shows me that they REALLY didn't
> do their research homework other than: 1) make it work for the
> Developer flow and 2) compete directly with Flash. The only other
> excuse is that Blend is in developer tools and Visio is in Office and
> well they are too darned siloed to create the links. #1 lame excuse
> ever for a company that is trying to be "progressive" right now.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On 3/6/07, Robert Barlow-Busch <bbb at terapath.net> wrote:
> > > Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta
> > > for rich desktop apps...
> >
> > Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.
> >
> > FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far so
> good.
> > I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather like a
> messy
> > work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it synchronizes
> > the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation very well; and as
> > someone who's learning CSS at the same time as Expression, the "split"
> > code/page view is quite effective.
> >
> > --
> > Robert Barlow-Busch
> > Terapath Inc.
> > bbb at terapath.net
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Mar 2007 - 4:06pm
russwilson
2005

It make sense.

My fear though is in empowering developers to design
poorly, versus bridging the gap between designers and
developers. Products like these will be interpreted by
some to obviate the designer all together (an absurd
conclusion, but nevertheless I guarantee I'll come across it).

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
David Malouf
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 2:29 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression Blend

I think that is EXACTLY!!!!! the strategy of these products.
They are made under the developer banner at MS for that reason and that
is why they integrate with Visual Studio more than Office apps.

As for Adobe, they are doing the same thing by creating a new developer
environment (AKA Flex) that works well with their Studio apps (Flash,
Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)

The difference is that MS KNOWS developers and Adobe KNOWS designers and
they are both trying to play catchup in the other's arena.

I think that Adobe has the advantage in this regard, but MS has the
advantage in that their "closed system" (WPF vs. Flash/Apollo) will be
on more systems. AND MS has a HUGE developer network (some 20million) to
help evangelize their products for them.

The designer community has a much harder task of evangelizing Adobe as
developers seem to be less experiemental. I'm not talking about the open
source community which loves to try the next new thing, but the far
majority of developers who have been trained and entrenched into MS
tools for the last 2 decades if not more.

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Wilson, Russell <Russell.Wilson at netqos.com> wrote:
> Thanks David - do you think that (at least in the future) the ultimate

> goal of these products is to help bridge the gap better between
> developer and designer?
> (i.e. better than Adobe does?)
>
> I'm wondering if that is their strategy.
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Malouf [mailto:dave.ixd at gmail.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 12:53 PM
> To: Wilson, Russell
> Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression
> Blend
>
> Hi Russell,
>
> as I said in my statement, the only time I would consider this product

> is if I was doing work on a WPF or WPF/E application where I want to
> take advantage of the major selling point which is integrating my work

> directly with the code.
>
> Now, I may use web designer if I was working on an AJAX application. I

> haven't used it yet. But it is definitely in my view.
>
> As to the spirit of your question. Learn as few as you need to achieve

> your job. :) Great advantage of staying some place a long time is that

> you don't have to constantly adapt to a new environment.
>
> I.e. my boss is an Adobe old-school guy and so I'm being forced move
> from my Macromedia world (think fireworks to photoshop). I am also
> being forced to give up Visio and work in InDesign (not exact
equivalents).
>
> If I just stayed put I wouldn't have to do this. ;)
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On 3/6/07, Wilson, Russell <Russell.Wilson at netqos.com> wrote:
> > The first thought that crosses my mind is "why invest in learning
> > yet another tool/platform?"
> >
> > Do the benefits outweight the investment?
> >
> > And, how many tools/platforms can/should we master?
> > Sure, someone can say "it's another tool to add to your toolchest",
> > but doesn't the investment in learning and adopting this tool take
> > away from further mastery of another?
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of

> > David Malouf
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:32 AM
> > To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Is anybody using Microsoft Expression
> > Blend
> >
> > Hi gang,
> >
> > I'm in the middle of using Blend on a desktop application project
> > and I think if you are looking for a prototyping tool for its own
> > sake, I wouldn't use Blend YET! But if your project like mine is
> > using WPF and
>
> > you want to find out ways to increase lifecycle efficiencies between

> > designers and developers then Blend is your tool.
> >
> > Warnings:
> > Not a lot of support yet. The MS folks are trying to bend over
> > backwards for me but they just don't have enough to get my project
> quickstarted.
> > The learning curve for folks familiar with Flash or nothing is going

> > to be high. It is written with a designer sensibility but then
> > again, it is also geared (I think too much) to work for developers
as well.
> > Customizing your components is a bear
> >
> > Good stuff:
> > If you are indeed using WPF, then you will be really happy with
tool.
> > For example I was designing a tabbed interface and well without a
> > lick
>
> > of scripting the tabs worked both in the design tool and in the
> > running application.
> >
> > Apology on behalf of MS:
> > This is a 1.0 out and well not even released yet tool, so maybe a
> > lot of this stuff will be dealt with in the release. They definitely

> > need a lot more support.
> > I remember when Flash MX came out (their first advertised RIA design

> > version), they had courses and books out of the box for the tool and

> > it made my ramp up on the tool soooo much easier. I would expect
> > that a company the size of MS would have this 10 fold when entering
> > a market as hostile to MS as this one.
> >
> > Last little thing (and I know they know this). ... Why in the world
> > is
>
> > it not integrated with Visio? Talk about the biggest opportunity
> > loss EVER!!!!! Visio is the Windows standard for IA and IxD and the
> > fact they didn't do this out of the gate shows me that they REALLY
> > didn't do their research homework other than: 1) make it work for
> > the Developer flow and
> > 2) compete directly with Flash. The only other excuse is that Blend
> > is
>
> > in developer tools and Visio is in Office and well they are too
> > darned
>
> > siloed to create the links. #1 lame excuse ever for a company that
> > is trying to be "progressive" right now.
> >
> > -- dave
> >
> >
> > On 3/6/07, Robert Barlow-Busch <bbb at terapath.net> wrote:
> > > > Is anyone using the Expression Blend beta for rich desktop
apps...
> > >
> > > Not yet, but soon. So I'm curious to hear any responses.
> > >
> > > FYI that I've been using Expression Web for a few days now. So far

> > > so
> > good.
> > > I wouldn't describe the interface as elegant -- it feels rather
> > > like
>
> > > a
> >
> > > messy work surface -- but it gets the job done. I've found that it

> > > synchronizes the HTML/CSS code and the WYSIWYG page representation

> > > very well; and as someone who's learning CSS at the same time as
> > Expression, the "split"
> > > code/page view is quite effective.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Robert Barlow-Busch
> > > Terapath Inc.
> > > bbb at terapath.net
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help
..................
> > > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> > > ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library
> ...........
> > > http://resources.ixda.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > David Malouf
> > http://synapticburn.com/
> > http://ixda.org/
> > http://motorola.com/
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> .......................
> > http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ...........
> > http://resources.ixda.org
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
> > ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
> > http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
> > http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home
> > ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library
...........
> > http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home .......................
http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

6 Mar 2007 - 4:15pm
Mark Schraad
2006

They do not need to be empowered... as many already do this. Even more view design as skinning and an after thought. Functions... then some styling. If you hang out in some of the "Agile" forums this becomes evident very quickly.

Mark

>My fear though is in empowering developers to design
>poorly, versus bridging the gap between designers and
>developers. Products like these will be interpreted by
>some to obviate the designer all together (an absurd
>conclusion, but nevertheless I guarantee I'll come across it).

6 Mar 2007 - 4:22pm
Nasir Barday
2006

And it works the other way, too-- now that designers are essentially
developing interfaces, the final product probably won't be as efficient as
if a developer built it. We built a technology that allows Product
Developers, (even *gasp* clients!) to create products. Our engineers looked
at the code that was coming out of that and panicked. "Of course it's slow,
silly, you're optimizing it all wrong." And they were right.

The downside of having the developer build the interface is the mismatches
that occur along the way, and that's part of what MS is addressing with the
Expression suite. Tradeoff.

And sure, there will be non-designer developers who think they can design.
However, I've found that most developers don't care to do "the UI Design
stuff," but they have to because no one else is doing it. And by golly,
they've got some tight deadlines.

- Nasir

6 Mar 2007 - 4:33pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Nasir,

For the most part we agree. It definitely crosses multiple roles.

I have built and delivered html docs for years, basically as design documentation. Never did I intend for it to be used as the final code. CSS, in particular, is a great tool for documenting standards for placement, font use, etc. As designers, we never put any thought into page load sequencing or any serious site wide code strategy. I am in favor of leaving that to professional, not generalists.

Most of the time when I have run into developers that want to design, and it has not been all that often, they want the control. If the waterfall is managed poorly, it can seems like the step in front of you is dictating what you can do, and it feels supervisory. I get that. This is where strong product and project managers really earn the money. Frankly, I sometimes wonder if this is exactly where agile/scrum/xtreme came from.

Mark

On Tuesday, March 06, 2007, at 04:23PM, "Nasir Barday" <nasir at userlicious.com> wrote:
>And it works the other way, too-- now that designers are essentially
>developing interfaces, the final product probably won't be as efficient as
>if a developer built it. We built a technology that allows Product
>Developers, (even *gasp* clients!) to create products. Our engineers looked
>at the code that was coming out of that and panicked. "Of course it's slow,
>silly, you're optimizing it all wrong." And they were right.
>
>The downside of having the developer build the interface is the mismatches
>that occur along the way, and that's part of what MS is addressing with the
>Expression suite. Tradeoff.
>
>And sure, there will be non-designer developers who think they can design.
>However, I've found that most developers don't care to do "the UI Design
>stuff," but they have to because no one else is doing it. And by golly,
>they've got some tight deadlines.
>
>- Nasir
>

6 Mar 2007 - 4:44pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I also think that you will find that the interface for blend will get
the same reaction from developers that Flash does.

BTW, there is nothing in Blend (or Flash for that matter) that a
developer can't do in notepad by hand coding XAML or ActionScript, so
they can do this already.

These tool for the most part doesn't speak to their desire to stay in
text mode.This is why Adobe went in a whole new direction with Flex
and made it a developer IDE.

-- dave

6 Mar 2007 - 4:55pm
Nasir Barday
2006

Yah, we're on the same page, Mark :-).

With the workflow that MS Expression suggests, it's much more tempting to
turn the design prototype into the final product. In fact, I don't even see
a prototype stage in their suggested process, now that I think about it.
Scary.

Or is that the intention after all? Maybe the feeling is that the XAML code
generated by designers won't be that inefficient after all, since it's
relatively straightforward and declarative. But as we all know, developer
code is *markedly* different given prototype vs. production contexts.

- Nasir

On 3/6/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I also think that you will find that the interface for blend will get
> the same reaction from developers that Flash does.
>
> BTW, there is nothing in Blend (or Flash for that matter) that a
> developer can't do in notepad by hand coding XAML or ActionScript, so
> they can do this already.
>
> These tool for the most part doesn't speak to their desire to stay in
> text mode.This is why Adobe went in a whole new direction with Flex
> and made it a developer IDE.
>
> -- dave
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

6 Mar 2007 - 8:27pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

I've spent a bit of time evaluating the Expression tools. The applications
themselves are still kind of wet behind the ears, but there's one thing I
love about the new tools. The XAML syntax used to define an interface is
terse, readable, and expressive. This is a sort of text-based meta-language
used to define interfaces. Developer tools interpret the XML and turn it
into an interface. Think executable specification. Designers drag the little
controls around on the screen (in Blend I think it is - I still get them
mixed up and they're not on this computer) to create the XML.

I've worked with a variety of client framework tools and syntaxes over the
years and the new MS XAML one really shines.The syntax has good defaults and
you can tweak the details.

Their other new apps don't look like they're going to replace Dreamweaver or
Photoshop during my lifetime, but I'm going to keep a close watch on their
interface language.

Michael Micheletti

6 Mar 2007 - 9:05pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Michael, great point about XAML. I think it is just as good and a lot
more powerful than HTML in my opinion. What I mean by that is that it
is VERY easy to learn and very easy to go into and manipulate code at
a great level.

If people are interested in seeing it "demoed" these guys are doing
some fun demos:
http://www.revoluxions.com/

One of my favorite parts of this demo is how they create an image
picker using someone's RSS feed from flickr.com and either using
metadata from that feed as "tooltip" or having the title/date and
making the image a tooltip. It was just great!

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Michael Micheletti <michael.micheletti at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've spent a bit of time evaluating the Expression tools. The applications
> themselves are still kind of wet behind the ears, but there's one thing I
> love about the new tools. The XAML syntax used to define an interface is
> terse, readable, and expressive. This is a sort of text-based meta-language
> used to define interfaces. Developer tools interpret the XML and turn it
> into an interface. Think executable specification. Designers drag the little
> controls around on the screen (in Blend I think it is - I still get them
> mixed up and they're not on this computer) to create the XML.
>
> I've worked with a variety of client framework tools and syntaxes over the
> years and the new MS XAML one really shines.The syntax has good defaults and
> you can tweak the details.
>
> Their other new apps don't look like they're going to replace Dreamweaver or
> Photoshop during my lifetime, but I'm going to keep a close watch on their
> interface language.
>
> Michael Micheletti
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Mar 2007 - 10:28pm
russwilson
2005

I haven't experience xaml yet, but anyone know how
it compares to Adobe's Flex "mxml"?

7 Mar 2007 - 10:23am
Shep McKee
2005

One 'sidebar' to add to the mix...

The local (Metro DC ) Microsoft Innovation and Technology Center just
sent me an invite for a "Designer Dinner" dedicated to Expression
Blend. It's odd - these events, and the associated announcement
list, have always targeted developers (my excuse: I was doing UX on
IDEs) and I'm wondering if they are missing the target audience. In
any event, this ought to be a good chance to see a MS evangelist take
the tool through it's paces. I'm sure they'll have similar events in
all major cities.
<http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/eventdetail.aspx?culture=en-
US&eventid=1032332975>

16 Feb 2011 - 2:39pm
j.scot
2008

I'd like to re-poll the community on this... is anyone (especially the in-house folks) using Expression Blend to design interfaces destined for WPF or Silverlight? 

There's significant curiosity about whether using it can prevent what's being called "dual work" to layout in things in a design tool, and then lay them out again in something like Visual Studio (which is what our development team primarilly uses).

I've got my own opinions, but I'm curious what thoughts those that have actually tried using it have.

Thanks!

16 Feb 2011 - 3:47pm
vespabob
2010

Morning

Have been using Blend for the last 3 years succesfully but only to build the final xamal presentation layer. While I'm now reasonably quick using it I would still use a tool such as Balsamiq's Mockup live with the BAs and subject matter experts to design the screens (and more inportantly get quick buy in and sign-off) then go straight to Blend skipping Photoshop which I would have previously used. Have co-authored and article talking about this -

http://www.equinox.co.nz/services/business-analysis/Documents/Virtual%20Walkthrus%20-%20Eqnx%20News%20Oct%2009.pdf

Cheers

Bob

17 Feb 2011 - 3:30am
holger_maassen
2010

I developed just one single project with Blend - It's a powerful tool - maybe too powerful - and from my point of view the learning curve is to extrem ... I still prefer Visio and Concept Draw for Software and Intranet projects  and for clickdummies and microsites Axure. http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.com/2010/12/prototyping-and-wireframing-its-your.html

 

17 Feb 2011 - 2:45pm
Adam Lerner
2009

I am not using Blend, but we recently hired a developer who had had some good experiences working with designers via Blend in his last job. He has suggested that I begin delivering .AI files of my designs for him to import. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I initially toyed with the idea of learning Blend myself, but the learning curve seems prohibitively steep for me. Generally I use OmniGraffle and Illustrator for wireframes. We bring in a graphic designer when necessary to help with aesthetics and the developers XaML-ize by recreating the wireframed screens following the style guide. It would be good for everybody if I were to be able to tweek the designs myself and hand them off already vetted for element size and faithfulness. But that learning curve...

I'd love to hear from anyone who has made the transition from conventional wireframing tools to Blend and lived to tell the tale.

17 Feb 2011 - 3:22pm
vespabob
2010

Morning

While I agree it looks pretty daunting at first at least it shares keyboard short cuts with Adobe products so they certainly had designers in mind. I'd persevere as it finaly frees you from having to spec out layouts and then spend time checking everything that gets coded - the developers on my team agreed that it freed them up to just do code. Would recomend "Dynamic prototyping"  by Chris bernard & Sara Summers as a good reference.

Cheers, Bob
  

30 Mar 2011 - 11:41am
Hayata
2011

I am an IxD who is a heavy Axure and Balsamiq user. Like a lot of MS shops, we got Blend for free with our developers' MSDN licenses. So, with some prodding from the tech echelons in the organization, I agreed to use Blend for wireframing on a project this past winter. I actually created nice looking screens only to discover that an unknown namespace error prevented me from running my project in the browser (viewer plugin). Later we got dozens more errors (invalid xaml?) for no apparent reason. We missed document deadlines because our wireframes screens were “stuck” inside Blend. We resorted to taking screen shots from the Blend IDE (you can't dump a png/gif out of Blend and the Word doc output is too generic). We repeatedly ran to our techs for a bailout. Not only that, but big project files (10+ screens) brought Blend to a crawl. Learning curve? Yeah, you bet there is a learning curve. The frustration level got so high that we abandoned Blend and went back to Axure.

We are working to deliver Silverlight/WPF apps (still haven't shipped one to production yet), so XAML is our destiny, no doubt about that. The place where Blend becomes useful is visual design. Our VDs can create styles in Blend that the developers then apply to their unstyled screens. One problem is that VDs don't have Visual Studio so they can't run the project on their machines. Instead they create mini projects in Blend, which are like stubs of the actual application, to view their designs in action.

There is a lot of fervor for the Silverlight/WPF stack in my particular organization. The disintermediation that Microsoft promised got taken literally by people; so there was an assumption that we were going to use Blend for everything. Well, that just didn't work for us. When you have real project deadlines, client presentations, and specs to be signed-off, you need design/prototyping tools you can trust. Unfortunately Blend (and our knowledge of the tool) was not up for the job. We couldn’t keep asking developers to bail us out. None of my designers have the deep coding skills necessary to debug an Expression Blend project, and I really don't want them spending time to develop those skills. More seat time with the tool is not going to erase these flaws.

Syndicate content Get the feed