We just got back from Age of User Experience Brisbane session. It was great to see an event in Brisbane. Overall, I found the session disappointing..felt like it hadn’t been properly prepared and parts of it seemed like it hadn’t been run through at all before. Maybe some of the presenters were nervous or hadn’t had a good chance to go through what they wanted get across.
I was really interested in the Expression Web and Expression Blend sessions. I totally missed most of the points being made in the Web session as it jumped all over the place…but it seemed like they’ve improved a lot of the CSS, HTML integration in Visual Studio to make it a bit easier if you prefer to drag and drop etc.
Expression Blend session was good and it looks like it has some very cool features and will be very useful etc. but a few important features are lacking atm (IMHO):
- No integration with VSS / or TFS checkin policies – So you’d have to get a dev to check out files for you, or have access to directly checkin/out from VSS or also use Visual Studio. Would work ok if you’re using a source control system like SVN but a bit disappointing from a Microsoft product.
- No easy way to veryify / help along the UAT stage. There doesn’t seem a good way to tell if what the designer/UI designer originally designed actually ended up in the solution. There’s now a “common language” so makes it easier for the “two sides” to communicate but seems to be still a case of manually checking every screen and user flow.
- Changes from Blend etc. can “accidentally” remove develops work. So the designer person doesn’t like a button so they delete it and add a new one that does something slightly different….Doesn’t tell them that the dev team already went and implemented a lot of functionality. So it would appear you could easily be left with a whole pile of dead code.
So to me it appears there that for now at least there will still be some sort of intermediate step when changes have to be made to existing forms etc. where the developer will still have to “gate-keep” changes to the ui – check / out, make sure no functionality is lost etc before checking in again.