The problem with UI specs

image I met Rene de Paula, fellow UXE from Brazil, our "UX Summit" in Madrid(!) last week. In the break after my "Wireframing with Blend" session, Rene took me out into the hallway and shot this short video. Still need to work on those short answers...

Comments (4)

  1. renedepaula says:

    thank you for your interview, Shane  🙂  I’ll share the user comments with you (translation included, of course 😀 )

  2. Stephen says:

    We have been using storyboards to look at transitions and providing information for some of the rich media applications we develop. They seem to be working fine, would you say how working with blend would enhance our process? And how do you go about delivering these things to developers and the business?

    oh, and when are you providing us with your library so we can mess around?

  3. Garry Trinder says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Storyboards ae a great way to document transitions, and they are the best starting point, becase they can be sufficiently ‘rough’ while ideas are still forming.

    As the design progresses I see 2 potential problems with storyboards:

    1. Hard to describe all the detail. It gets hard to say in a storyboard "over 1.5 seconds this panel shrinks to 250px wide and then to 400px high, with a slight ease-in. During the second transition the footer links fade in over .5 secs to 80% opaque" etc.

    2. Therefore, isn’t it more efficient to just build the transition yourself, rather than describe it for someone else to build? Afterall you probably need to prototype it to get all those values right anyway. This is where Blend come in – it provides a designer-friendly way for designers to build and test transitions.

    Deliver to developers by letting them share the underlying XAML file created by Blend. Deliver to the business by compiling into a .exe or HTML prototype.

    This does beg the question of QA, though. Is a clickable prototype a sufficient specification for acceptance testing? A topic for a future blog post, perhaps.

    Oh, and the link to the ‘library’ is broken somehow. Email me ( in the meantime and I will send.


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