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Mix day one April 30, 2007

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Nik Cubrilovic: Silverlight is excellent technology and those asking why developers and application providers won’t just stick to flash only need to look at XAML, the runtime speed and size and the flexible options with programming languages combined with very strong multimedia support to start to see the answer. Microsoft have a battle on their hands to convince the developer and designer communities that their platform is the best platform, but most of this convincing won’t be a technical showdown but rather the establishment of trust between users and Microsoft as the vendor of this new platform.

Ray Ozzie Keynote summarized by Luke Wroblewski

Ray Ozzie: “Silverlight is an important aspect of our software-plus-services strategy focused on delivering great user experiences that span the Web, the PC and mobile devices”

So far, the talk about Silverlight for mobile devices has been underwhelming. It would be great to see Expression Studio provide an environment to support designing for mobile devices.

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Operating Multiple Computers From One Keyboard and Mouse April 24, 2007

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It can get quite messy using multiple computers, mice and keyboards. Synergy is an open source application that aims to integrate systems to work with one keyboard and mouse. It even remembers clipboard contents for copy and pasting. Multiple keyboards and mice for complex workstations is a common source of pain that Synergy could help alleviate.

Retail technology experiences April 17, 2007

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There is alot of interest in bring software into the retail environment to fuel customer purchasing. If the computer gains some information about the customer, information and coupons can be targeted at them based on past purchases and demographic information. Verizon and North Face appear to be pioneering in this area. A survey of retailers by the LakeWest Group indicates that 40% of the sampled participants plan on using kiosks in-store to enhance to customer experience, and drive sales. The store is a context that needs to be carefully considered as these experiences are designed.

Optimal Form Designs April 13, 2007

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” As seen in the eye-tracking data above (compiled by Matteo Penzo), top aligned labels require only a single eye fixation to take in both label & field. Left-aligned labels require several more. This data also seems to indicate that people don’t have trouble associating a left-aligned label to its respective input, it just takes them longer to do so.”

Expression Training Announced April 13, 2007

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Microsoft has announced new training classes on the Expression products. One is more oriented towards the web and one is more focused on Expression Blend. I do not see any for Expression Design?

Quick Intro to WPF and XAML April 11, 2007

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A quick intro to WPF and XAML. In a small nutshell.

Architecting for the user experience April 11, 2007

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Microsoft is promoting a closer integration with design, development and architecture. The new expression design tools clearly show this direction and it will be revealed with increasing detail over the next few months.

Our next ArcReady program is called “Architecting for the User Experience.” Our guest speaker will be Chris Bernard, UX Evangelist for Microsoft. Together with the Central Region Architect Evangelists, we’ll discuss the role of the ‘user experience’ in architectural design and provide hands-on, practical guidance for getting better results in your own projects. We’ll discuss WPF, WPF/e, XAML and the new Expressions suite of products that allow designers, architects and developers to build great ‘user experiences’ using the same base technologies. More importantly, we will discuss how architects can work with software design professionals in new and innovative ways to create the next generation of ‘experiences’ and products that will be demanded by consumers and the enterprise.