While consumers work through the dizzying array of new features in Windows Vista, Ryan Stewart cuts through the hype and brings it back to what really matters – User Experience. He notes, “We’re all better off when experience wins and Vista is a huge step forward.” I couldn’t agree more. But what about after the hype, the roar of marketing moves into sustain? I’m expecting to see big pops of innovation as new Vista-enabled applications start to emerge.
An example of this is WPF – Windows Presentation Foundation, which is going to enable the next-generation of desktop applications that are 3D accelerated, and designer-developer collaboraration with Expression Studio and Visual Studio. I agree with Ryan, and look forward to seeing Tim Sneath write about these new applications. Yes, they’ll run on many XP PCs as well, but will truly sing on Vista.
Another will be “WPF/Everywhere” or “WPF/E” (Codename), which will take rich media experiences traditionally targeted at the desktop, and bring those to the Web with the flexibility of standards-based programming, and the power of XAML for presentation. I’ve seen how important XAML is first-hand- when I worked in Windows as a program manager on Windows Vista Sidebar, the tension was palpable between the User Experiece designers creating the UI, and the developers who were unable to fully realize the vision pixel for pixel. With Expression Studio + WPF, what you can envision, becomes programmable, pixel for pixel. That is a powerful thing, and soon we’re bringing that to the web as well.
Try WPF for yourself with my favorite “essential” application – the NY Times News Reader (beta).
(I have the flu so I’m heading back to bed. 🙁 )
One response to “Ryan Stewart on Windows Vista UX”
I’m skeptical: tools don’t make good UI designers out of people, and the fact that a new framework for building UI exists won’t necessarily make a positive difference. It’ll make a positive difference to talented UI designers, but not to those who have no talent.
The applications that currently have great UI may get better. The applications that have bad UI will stay bad, or get worse due to the overwhelming amount of additional choice now available, which will only worsen their lack of focus.
As always, politics will rule and the boomers are in charge now. Don’t expect good things to come out of anything that holds promise 🙂