On sunday, following an excellent Italian themed lunch, the second workshop started. I’d decided to attend the session on design tools and methods. The workshop was held by the incredibly talented Rossi brothers; Guido Rossi and Luigi Rossi of Archetype…
During the session, the brothers discussed some of the different techniques they use when prototyping designs and trying to communicate a rich UI with a very simple “wireframing” approach. When I asked Guido about their stance on using tools such as Sketchflow, he replied that although Sketchflow was a great tool to communicate with the customer, it didn’t fit the time schedules they worked with. A new practice for me was relying on the rule of thirds for very many design decisions. It sure sounds like a good idea and I’ll try it out as soon as I get a chance.
Guido and Luigi did a few demonstrations on how to use Expression Blend effectively and drove home the point that Blend really is the perfect tool for allowing developers and designers to work effectively together. The big key was databinding, databinding, databinding. With the MVVM pattern, the brothers showed how a designer with little to no dev-experience could transform and existing application completely without losing any functionality. The demo they did featured a soundboard application where checked boxes generated different sounds. Rather that me explaining the transformation process, I’d advice you to visit the brothers’ site and check out the demo there.
Guido later talked about how to do tasteful animations and how design could benefit from deriving styles out of content. If this sounds a bit weird, check out the Associated Press application that was shown during the first keynote (upcoming post)
Needless to say, I was very impressed by the work the Guido brothers had done. I hope I’ll get another chance to talk to them at another time.