We are building a new section of the ASP.NET Dev Center focused on design — it will consist of generic design stuff — HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, etc. and additional resources focused on how to do design for ASP.NET —

Right now I have in the queue:

Whitepaper on ASP.NET and Web Standards
5 CSS/DIV html templates with full documentation (and 1 extra color variation)
5 Table based html templates with full documentation (and 1 extra color variation)
Two master page templates for two-column layouts with three different themes each.
Two master page templates for three-column layouts with three different themes each.
Master page templates based on the CSS/DIV / Table layouts above (I’m building these, so they are moving slowly :))…

And we are working on collecting our other already existing content on Javascript, DHTML, HTML, CSS, etc. so it is in one easy to use, accessible place.  Oh and the site is going to have a nice clean design (yes I hired a professional!) —

So what do I want from you?

What else do you want to see?  What resources will be useful to you as a developer?  As a designer?  Interested in building any of that content?  I’m always looking for new contributors.  Let me know — we hope to have the site live by the end of the summer!


Comments (15)

  1. Keith J. Farmer says:

    I’m currently working on a site at the moment. Guidance on how to blend master pages, web parts, and css-based positioning would be useful.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve had to resort to a table:


    [tr][td colspan=2 (banner)][/tr]

    [tr][td (menu) /] [td (content)/]


    I’m using web parts not for customizability, but for the nice frame and title bar they provide.

    Also, the dimensions of the body and of the table are both 100%. It currently works with table-based layout, but it would be nice if all this were dealt with in a somewhat more modernized fashion.

    Of course, it could be the case that css-based positioning is not appropriate for this.

  2. Jeff Parker says:

    Maybe some WEFT and SMIL as well.

    I will have to think about this for a while. I am still getting over the initial shock of this post. This is like someone giving you a new car, a new house, a million dollars and asking you ok now what are you going to buy with the million. Well I just don’t know.

    You know I really am begining to think you guys are just out to please me 😉 I asked or suggested something like this on Dave Massy’s weblog not to long ago.

    And also when Mike Hall asked if Blogs – useful, or just more noise you need to deal with ? I also noted I think coding for fun was another suggestion of mine.

    Well I am happy I seem to be getting things I ask for on the blogs anyway.

    <sits back and waits for the new car, new house and million dollars>

    Oh one thing else that just hit me. Things that shouldn’t be left out Accessibility, oh and Access Keys or the accesskey attribute seems so few people ever say anything about it a lot of people do not even know it is there.

  3. Kirk Marple says:

    as a developer who has to be a designer out of necessity, i’d love to see more templates, and walkthroughs of theming.

    i might not want to use the templates as is, but more examples of the possibilities will accelerate my process in building new ones.

    the master page templates based on CSS/DIV layouts would be greatly helpful to me right now!

    also, tutorials on tying Ajax concepts to ASP.NET controls would be very helpful.

  4. Travis Owens says:

    Well my needs are biased but…

    I have a possible upcoming need to start doing some AJAX in ASP.Net 2.0

    HTML related tutorials aren’t very important when VS generates the HTML for you and the designer allows for almost any type of cosmitc change you need. Ok I admit, as somebody who’s been writing HTML for 10yrs, I often jump into the HTML code to customize things but I feel this is not the majority.

    Why so many (5) table based templates? There have been many good tutorials that have proven that CSS can fully replace tables. Although I still have a hard time convincing myself to switch, the examples have proven that any layout can be accomplished with CSS layouts (despite what web developers thought originally of CSS layout). I will admit IE6’s CSS layout quirks do complicate the issue and sometimes require using tricks to get things exactly as we want.

  5. Dean Heckler says:

    As a designer, working with my developers, I’ve been looking for an Design focused Dev Center for a while – and not only for ASP.NET. But as most of my designs are for ASP.NET, this new Dev Center could be a very good thing. What I’d like to see:

    – In-depth case studies on exemplary Microsoft (and others) designs – Windows Marketplace comes to mind. Not just technical, I’d like to hear what the designer on the project has to say.

    – Best practice information for how designers can work most efficiently with developers in an environment.

    – Design showcase. Articles related to innovative design elements, interface elements, etc.

    I’m not sure what your overall goal is with this Dev Center, but for me, I’d like to see it become the place where a ASP.Net interface/interaction designer’s interests meet the interests of the developer.

  6. Ken Cox [MVP] says:

    Hi Brian,

    I could use a specification for a database-driven Web site. For example, say I was going to outsource development of an ASP.NET e-commerce site and needed to describe it fully for potential developers.

    Not being an architect-type, it’s hard to know where to start with this. A template or example document would be very useful.



  7. bgold says:

    Great feedback, glad we are doing some things right 🙂 Keep it coming, it will definitely influence how these things develop.

    I’m always looking for folks who have both design skills and ASP.NET 2.0 (especially themes/skins, master pages) to put together content on those areas — if that is you, let me know!

  8. Chad says:

    I would like to see more info about how themes and skins are supposed to work with the entire site. I am still confused how they integrate into a given site design (but the feature looks cool in the Personal Website Starter Kit on the site)

  9. Bryan Peters says:

    Very exciting stuff! I second Dean Heckler’s points.

    As a developer who loves clean CSS code, I’ve thrown myself (and my company) at 2.0, but am finding the code output of to have remnants of table-centric controls (Menu, FormView, etc.). I would love to know how to create a simple unordered list of the SiteMapDataSource instead of the table it puts out. It might not be possible, but little tricks like that would make CSS purists like me really happy.

  10. Parag Kantharia says:

    Dear Sir,

    May we all know, what is the outcome of your plans and decision taken by you so far. Since now we are just very close to get our hands on real world of 2.0

    we are just 15 days far, and i hope you must be having something ready as a pleasing surprise for all of us.


    parag kantharia

  11. bgold says:

    Parag —

    I wish I had good news — lots of stuff in development, slight production issues — probably going to slip out into early next year — but I’ll post the content as I get it on MSDN… we have a bunch of MP templates and HTML templates with best practice guidanec ready to go at launch so I’ll do everything I can to get something live — even if it isn’t the full designer portal I’m working on. trust that it is something that will happen, I’m just running into more ‘infrastructure’ issues then I expected.

    Thanks for the note.