These are just two sessions I wanted to highlight from Mix10, they are not necessarily my favorites of the whole show; I’m still watching videos. Oh, and I’m a bit Segoe happy after seeing all the Windows Phone stuff, so please excuse the gratuitous formatting.
Developing Natural User Interfaces
with Microsoft Silverlight and WPF 4 Touch
worth noting that at this design focused
conference, it was rare to see evidence of much good design put into in the
sessions themselves. Many were strikingly ordinary and pretty slides do not a
compelling presentation make. However, Joshua Blake’s session on Natural User
Interface design and Windows Touch technology was an exception. He delivered
the most compelling breakout I saw, and it hinged on how his tightly packed
content was synced with its delivery mechanism; a purpose-built PowerPoint
alternative that works like an infinite vector-based deepzoom. Not only did
Joshua build this tool using the NUI philosophies and techniques that were the
session’s topic (very meta), but he masterfully laid out the content in ways
that would give any Hollywood opening credits editor a run for his money. Even
if you didn’t care about what he was saying, it was fun to watch him say it
with these visuals. It’s also interesting how much this visual style, with its
heavy emphasis on flat graphics, minimal color, and modern typography,
resembles the Metro UI that was the hit of the show.
and that’s me asking the first question. Free book! Note to Joshua, if you want
to see sales of your book skyrocket, release NaturalShow (preferably
open-sourced) when it hits shelves. The publicity will pay dividends.
think we all like us a good Sketchflow demo! But if you’re like me, you’re a
bit burned out on perfect-world scenarios that seem to strain the limits of
believability. Are people really importing Photoshop files with hundreds of
layers and creating working prototypes in a matter of minutes? The answer is,
not much, but they are using this tool and it is adding a lot of value for
those who use it right. This session took the refreshing approach of inviting
up several partners who have been using Sketchflow on real-world projects and
had them show some examples. Their purpose, fidelity, and depth varied greatly.
You are left with a better sense of the true practical value of the tool. Not
everything here is golden, and they ran into some technical glitches, but most
of it is very worthwhile.
I had a chance to sit down with Bill
Buxton for a long chat Monday night. I asked him how he felt about
Sketchflow after its first year in the wild. He says he’s still excited about
it and that the Windows 8 team is using it extensively, with amazing results.
He also told me the first fax was sent in the 19th century; a history lesson
comes with the territory when talking to Bill.