Flash evangelist has “gone to the Silverlight side” and talks about differences between Flash/Flex/Air and Silverlight.



Silverlight 4

February 4, 2010

I know I’m fortunate.  I do.  I’m working on a challenging SharePoint 2010 project right now and enjoying it.  But I’m just going crazy because I don’t have any time to play with Silverlight 4 right now.  And there are *so* many companies that are starting to really dive into Silverlight, which thrills me.  But I want to be working on those projects too.  Can I clone myself?  Rats, I don’t have time to figure out how to do that either.

Feeling Inspired

March 19, 2009

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see Bill Buxton’s amazing keynote speech at MIX09 yesterday.  He said that now is truly a great time to be a UX designer.  And while you might raise an eyebrow at that during the current economic climate, he pointed out that the companies who were design innovators during the Great Depression (Kodak was one of his examples) are all still around today.  So go out there and do some great design.

I also got the opportunity to ask Bill about RIAs (specifically Silverlight) and how text fits into that model (I’m thinking of users who want to right-click on a link and open in a new window, for example).  His response was, “Well, perhaps you need a different solution.  Or come up with one.”  An excellent point.  Time for some innovation.  To think outside the box.  I’m filled with many ideas and can’t wait to come back and try them out.

Bill also spoke about the design process.  No less than 5 designs for each project.  If you can’t come up with at least 5 designs, then you don’t have the right design.  And you NEED to do the 5 designs.  If you do just one and stick with it, it’s more than just doing yourself a disservice…  You’re marrying yourself to a design without allowing for room for technical and business needs. 

Well, I digress.  Suffice if to say this conference has been quite inspirational.  Happy designing to all, and to all, good design.

Recently I presented “A designer’s view on Expressions Blend and Silverlight 2.0” at the Minnesota Silverlight User Group.  Here is the timeline sample that I presented.


A couple interesting things about this project:

– Timeline scrollbar was not a direct ratio (i.e., one president might serve for 1 term, while another served for two).

– Provided different layers that ease at different rates, to provide a more dynamic effect.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I apologize, but I’ve been having a lot of fun messing with Silverlight lately.

Things got a little less fun though when they released Silverlight 2.  While I’m a fan of Silverlight, I’m not a fan of how they released it.  Number one, they released it early.  Now ordinarily that would be a fabulous thing.  But it’s not backward compatible.  And they disabled the ability to download Silverlight 2 Beta 2.  So if you’ve labored (like we did) to make a lovely Silverlight app in beta 2 and then get less than 24 hours notice that you need to upgrade… well it’s a little frustrating. 

Anyway, on to my other rants.

  1. They changed the Portable User Interface font.  Which means that all text which used it (which is everything as a default) will look different and have different line space than before (more line space).  Had to resize everything.
  2. It messed with my animation.  I had a lovely image slideshow and it changed the positioning, throwing it off and making it "jog" at the end.  And that is so not cool.
  3. Blend is slower than dirt.  The storyboard interaction is ridiculous.  Moving from one frame to the next takes 3-5 SECONDS.
  4. Removed Text wrapping (and other text elements) from HyperlinkButtons.  So this forced me to add TextBlocks to all my HyperlinkButtons.  This is a minor rant, but still.
  5. If you have a page that hosts several other user controls, you’ll get an error in Blend if any of the user controls references "HtmlPage" in its Loaded event.  Basically, what happens is the Blend UI actually calls that Loaded event, and since the Blend UI is obviously not an HtmlPage, it gets confused and throws an error.

So, I’ve finished my rant for the moment.  I still believe Silverlight is excellent.  But it needs to go to its room and think about what it did and not come out until it’s ready to apologize.