Monday, October 15, 2007

Silverlight and Blend

You may have heard about this new product from Microsoft called Silverlight. Silverlight is a cross platform (or soon to be cross platform) media plug-in. Similar to adobe Flash player, this technology can be used to deliver HD video, rich user experiences, and all around good ol' slick sex appeal right in your audiences very own browser. Microsoft Expression Blend is an application that allows you to build content for Silverlight.

Ok, great. Why do I care?

Resume Gold. If a designer seriously plans on looking for a job with anything to do with software or the web, they should consider getting their hands dirty with stuff ASAP. It won't necessarily get you the job, but it will really make you stand out. Not many people have much experience with it but lots of companies are looking for people who do. Need more reasons?

It's not flash. The more technical folks will appreciate the fact that complete experiences can be created with Javascript. That's right, Javascript! The same cool language that you use for your neat css, dhtml widgets can be used with this. Now you don't need to have another language with its own unique syntax and issues floating around in your head.

Competition is good for us; the designers, consumers, computer users. Hopefully, this will drive both companies to continue to innovate in the area of rich interaction tools marketed toward the design crowd. Innovation is good!

Efficiency is the key to a profitable business. Blend is an application that tries to shorten the development time involved in creating the awesome user experiences we strive for. Design the actual interface & elements, hand this very same file off to the developer to add the mechanical bits. Viola, you no longer need countless emails to the dev team that they didn't recreate your design exactly to spec.

If you want to experience this product yourself, you can download a free demo here.

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