We're starting an implementation project for a Windows application
that we've already designed (form, content and behavior is done). The
design involves some eye-candy and transitions that would be trivial
to implement with WPF, but not so trivial with Windows Forms.
To help the coders concentrate on coding, were considering to re-draw
our Photoshop+OmniGraffle originals with the shining new MS Expression
Designer+Blend toolset, hoping that the output is directly useful WPF/
XAML/C# input for Visual Studio. We also hope that, using the new
tools, we could fine-tune the UI directly in the Visual Studio project
during the development.
MS Expression Blend promises that this is possible, so I've tried the
60-day product, read some manuals and watched some seminars and
tutorials. My personal impression is that the drawing tools are easy
to pick up, but the storyboard/timeline concepts and Visual Studio
integration require learning and practice - maybe 2-4 weeks to get a
hang of it.
Our likely alternative is to use the traditional Windows Forms
approach, but I've got questions for anyone who has used Expression
Blend to do some Real Work(tm):
1) Did you find the product complete and stable enough for your
production environment? What kind of difficulties have you encountered?
("Designing Windows Experiences by Robby Ingebretsen (Identity Mine)
and Beau Ambur (Metaliq) ... Join two top designers as they show how
they created next generation experiences using Expression Blend and
Expression Design. Learn best practices for creating experiences that
are anything but lowest-common-denominator.")
2) Did it help the team to come up with better results in the end? Did
you save time?