Artists in Residence rocked so much it hurt

panoWell we had our first Silverlight Artists in Residence last week in Melbourne and it totally rocked. Really. I was ready for the first one to be a bit average, but we left average in our dust.

Jordan Knight from Readify was an awesome facilitator. He not only has deep Silverlight skills, he is really passionate about Silverlight and its potential. I'm particularly grateful to Jordan for going to so much trouble to make the week work for designers, as well as developers - thanks Jordan!

I was going to do a big write-up of the whole thing, but John and Bron from Soul Solutions, and Jordan himself have done great write-ups on their blogs:

The Video

As usual, Kordesy made a great video summary of the week.

Templates within templates

Clearly the thing that the designers in the group found most challenging was the idea of templates in Silverlight. Templates allow designers to take standard elements (like a listbox) and re-design them - not just how they look but their entire layout and behaviour - and then re-use the template again and again. But when you take apart a listbox, you'd be surprised how many working parts there are in there! Because Expression Blend takes your design all the way to production, designers eventually have to think quite carefully about how they will apply templates (and styles) within their design. The developers in the group seemed to grasp this easily, which kind of put pressure on the designers to get up to speed quickly.

I think next time we should give designers more slack to work with less sophisticated layouts at first. They can then progressively refine their use of more powerful (and ultimately time-saving) features like templates.


Thanks go to:

  • Kordesy, for being so determined to run Artists in Residence in Oz.
  • Arturo Toledo for inspiring us with the original Artists in Residence in Redmond.
  • Anna for making it all possible.

And thanks for all the interest in taking Artists in Residence on the road. Stay tuned...