A couple days ago, an article was posted on the DevX portal discussing WPF graphics & performance (my favorite two subjects). You can find it here here . Definitely worth a read, especially since Mr. Woodruff mentions this blog!
It’s always really interesting to how the external press views our platform, both positive and otherwise. One point made in the article is how powerful a seamless marriage between designers (via Expression ID) & developers (via WPF) will be when it comes to making great-looking applications. This is so true. After spending a few years looking at apps that take advantage of this platform, it almost hurts to looks at the lifeless applications of yesteryear.
For example, just last night I went over to CNet downloads and grabbed a copy of IronTrainer 2.1.8. I’ve been getting back into strength training and wanted to track my lifts. From a getting-stuff-done point of view, this app rocks. I can create completely customized routines, track my progress with bar graphs, scatter graphs, 3D bar graphs, etc. But the UI was obviously built by a software guy, in some VB6-like, primordial development environment. And compared to even simple WPF apps, boy is it ugly. All the controls are grey, static, without any flow, transitions, animations, and definitely lacking whiz-bang effects. Like Morgan Spurlock on the 10th day of his McDonald’s diet, using the concrete-toned UI mess of stock buttons started to depress me.
That’s all going to start changing with the introduction of WPF. If this was built using our platform, a few hours in Expression and this app could be amazing. You can’t blame the app developers for the lack of aesthetics – with the tools that existed, these were the types of apps that got built. But with WPF and Expression ID in-hand, this class of comatose UI design will start fading away. Get your computers ready for an extreme software makeover, folks. The tides of good UI design is ripe for a change!