UX

User experience musings

Using the predefined buttons styles for the ApplicationBar in Windows 8

When you create a new Windows 8 application, the Common folder contains a file named StandardStyles.xaml. Amongst other styling resources, this file contains a trove of application bar buttons styles, including Microsoft Design-like icons. In order to use these styles, however, you need to uncomment the corresponding one. Microsoft commented these styles out, because otherwise they would be instantiated by the XAML parser when the app starts, which would cause some delays and use unnecessary memory. ......

Session material from TechDays BE and NL

UPDATE: Added the videos Note: Like all material on this blog, this blog post and all the referenced material are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. You are free to reuse material from this post and from the referenced material, but you must attribute this material to me, and link to this blog post, or to my website. Thanks! I had the chance to be invited again to speak at TechDays in Belgium (Antwerp) and in the Netherlands (The Hague), and delivered 3 sessions ......

Oredev 2012: Summary and source code

This week, I had the pleasure to be invited to talk at Oredev, a really cool conference taking place in Malmo, Sweden. The whole event is awesome, including a very special dinner on Monday including sauna and swimming in a 6 degrees cold Baltic sea, and a reception with dinner at the town hall, including the mayor himself. Considering Malmo is a town of 300'000 inhabitants, it is a pretty nice occasion and the historical building itself is really worth seeing. For those interested, I placed my pictures ......

Adventures in Windows 8: Working around the navigation animation issues in LayoutAwarePage

LayoutAwarePage is a pretty cool add-on to Windows 8 apps, which facilitates greatly the implementation of orientation-aware (portrait, landscape) as well as state-aware (snapped, filled, fullscreen) apps. It has however a few issues that are obvious when you use transformed elements on your page. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Adventures in Windows 8: Understanding and debugging design time data in Expression Blend

One of my favorite features in Expression Blend is the ability to attach a Visual Studio debugger to Blend. First let’s start by answering the question: why exactly do you want to do that?

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Adventures in Windows 8: Placing items in a GridView with a ColumnSpan or RowSpan

Currently working on a Windows 8 app for an important client, I will be writing about small issues, tips and tricks, ideas and whatever occurs to me during the development and the integration of this app. When working with a GridView, it is quite common to use a VariableSizedWrapGrid as the ItemsPanel. This creates a nice flowing layout which will auto-adapt for various resolutions. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Metro design inspiration

[This is the English version of an article I wrote for the Netzwoche publication in Switzerland. This is part 2 of a 3-parts article about Metro. The original article in German can be found online on the Netzwoche website.] With Windows 8, Microsoft is going to potentially install their new design language called Metro on a massive amount of computers of all shapes, from thin low-powered slates to full scale PCs. However Metro was not born overnight and in fact a lot of research was put into it. ......

Slides and source code for my past talks this year

I had the chance to be invited to talk at various conferences this year already, and I promised to post the slides and source code, so here it is!

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The gestures of Windows 8 (Consumer preview): part 2, More about Search

This is part 2 of a multipart blog post about the gestures and shortcuts in Windows 8 consumer preview. Part 1 can be found here!

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The gestures of Windows 8 (Consumer preview): part 1

This blog post started as a simple one, but grew to be quite large and time consuming. I am splitting it, because I really want to publish the first findings already. Stay tuned for more! I am sure that you heard that Windows 8 was released last week in an early although quite stable stage called "consumer preview". Windows 8 is an interesting mix of touch-based and mouse/keyboard based system. Some aspects are a bit annoying (see my post about the "split personalities" in Win8 to see what I mean!) ......

Impressions, slides and code from TechDays Belgium and Netherlands

Update: Posted the video of “MVVM Applied” below.

This week I was “on tour” in Belgium and Netherlands and presented 3 times:

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Screenshots of my #mvvm demo at #techdaysbe

Today I gave a talk in TechDays in Belgium about MVVM in Silverlight 5, Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8. This was the first time I gave that particular talk, and in addition keep in mind this is a developer preview, meaning that it is not finished, and not always stable.

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Three years at IdentityMine–and more to come!

Today is the first day of my fourth year at IdentityMine. I can hardly believe how fast it went, and how exciting the trip has been so far. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Steve Jobs, the legacy

Today is a weird day. I just got the news, as I woke up, that Steve Jobs passed away last night. This news affected me more than I thought it would. I felt the need to write about these emotions, and about my history with Apple. This is probably more for myself than for the reader, so feel free to skip ahead if you don’t like this, but it felt appropriate to keep a few thoughts at this time. Read the rest of this entry » ......

My Windows 8 slate has split personalities–and what Microsoft could do to improve that

I had dinner the other night with my good friend Josh Smith, and of course we started talking about Windows 8. Something he said was pretty much spot on: He said that Windows 8 feels as if it has split personalities. There are the WinRT “Metro-style” apps and there is the “classic” Desktop, which looks and feels like Windows 7++ (optimized for touch, and actually a real delight to use with my fat greasy fingers). Read the rest of this entry » ......

My thoughts about Build, Windows 8, WinRT, XAML and Silverlight

Last week, Microsoft held their long awaited Build Windows (or simply "Build") conference in Anaheim CA. About 5000 people packed the convention center to discover the latest version of the Windows operation system: Windows 8.

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//build conference in Anaheim: Keynote notes #bldwin

As usual when I attend a conference, I like to take quick notes to remember what it was all about and take some time later to analyze it. Since Windows 8 is going to be the next big things, let me share my notes with you!

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Real life UX is still UX

Note: I posted that on Posterous, but on second thoughts it belongs on this blog too. After all, making UX better is what this is all about, in the end, and not just for computer applications. So apologies to those of you who read that on my Posterous already!

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