Designer-Developer Workflow

Since the first meetings about Imokapa Slideshow I’ve been working with Luís Oliveira, the interactive designer at Multivector. We started working with Beta 2 of WPF, so we didn’t have great tools, we had a version of Expression Blend but not even close to what it is today.

Luís started by creating some concept images of what the UI would be like based on the features planned. He used Fireworks to create those concepts and then it was up to me to plan the best plan of action to develop that interface and plan for customization.

When we started creating the actual UI we faced lots of problems, from tools that wouldn’t export XAML correctly to performance issues caused by poor exports done by Blend at the time. Even though Luís had some great designs we were starting to worry that those would never see the daylight…

 Luís would be the best person to describe the process of working with XAML by hand, but I can say he didn’t like it a bit, he felt like he was coding and we had no real tools to help us because of the customization requirement. And it was very hard for him to keep up with all the objects and different ways to implement brushes, most of the hand written XAML was made by me, fortunately we used Blend in some small parts. Luís designed the controls in their several states and I implemented most in XAML. Fortunately now we don’t have to do that, the new versions of Blend and Graphic Design are helping us a lot and with the new customization design patterns we developed it is possible for us to work apart from each other and in the integration process I only have to check for possible performance issues check bindings and commands and it is ready to go!

 So, today the experience is quite smooth, but when we started it wasn’t quite like that, Microsoft announced that Designers wouldn’t have to wait for Developers to implement their designs and Developers wouldn’t have to worry about the look of the application. Today it is a bit like that, not all is true, but we’ll get there, but when we started it was a hell of a nightmare (Microsoft and Marketing… you know 😉 ).

Advertisements

Another day another magazine

A few days ago Microsoft Portugal Released the March edition of the Microsoft Magazine, once again Imokapa Slideshow is shown to the public. 😀

Check it out: Microsoft magazine (this is only the page about Multivector, I’m not sure If I can post the entire magazine, so I’ll just post this :))

Imokapa Slideshow

I wanted to take some time to show you all the application I developed for Multivector. I’ll leave you with some screens for your viewing pleasure 😀

Product list Product List

Product details Product Details

Slideshow Photos Slideshow

Theme selection This is the theme selection already using the second theme we developed. Remember, this customization was done by using the first method I told you about in the first post, this doesn’t use controls, bindings or commands.

Main menu with second theme Main Menu with the second template.

 Here is the article on the Portuguese edition of the Official Windows Vista Magazine:

Windows Vista Magazine

 And here is the article on Público featuring our administrator Paulo Fernandes:

 Publico

This is a product that I really enjoyed developing, I’ve learned lots of new stuff. It could now benefit from all my new experiences with controls, but fortunately I’ll resume work on it as soon as my colleagues working on the base platform finish :).