Expression Blend and Design

The team blog of the Expression Blend and Design products.

What Would You Like to See in the Next Versions of Blend and Design?

What Would You Like to See in the Next Versions of Blend and Design?

Even though we just shipped Expression Blend and Design 2, we are already busy planning what to do for future releases. To better help us with our planning, we'd like to hear from you.

What are some things that you would like to see in Blend and Design? What are some of the things that you wish were done differently? Also, what are some of the things in our products that you like?

Let us know by posting in the comments below! We take your feedback very seriously, and your input goes a long way in helping us improve our products.


(On a related note, based on feedback from many of you, this blog has been restyled. A big thanks to Tim Sneath for the help.)

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  • TFS/SCC integration.  We have been asking the Expression Web/Blend teams for it since before version 1 was released...isn't it about time?  I know I'm not the only one either; see the Expression product forums and connect sites.

  • All I need is Expression Design.

    VS2008, SQL Server and Expression Design for my Developer Evangelism.

    Don't mean to complain but it seems like a waste for me to buy the entire Studio to get Design. ;-)

    Note: I do not use it for profit.

  • Even though we just shipped Expression Blend and Design 2 , we are already busy planning what to do for

  • In Blend, I'd like to see intellisense for the XAML, better control skinning support, and possibly some animation wizards that could assist with some of the more common scenarios.

    Most importantly, I'd like to see some sort of "express" version that would let the hobbyist or small development shop be able to use Blend without shelling out $500.

  • - Intellisense in XAML.  There are things you can't do with the tool that are purely design related and require hand-coding XAML to get the effect you want.  Limiting it to VS only is being bull-headed for no justifiable reason besides $$$.

    - TFS integration.  This seems like a no-brainer for Microsoft since it continually touts its designer-developer integration story.

    - Better style creation and management

  • Even though we just shipped Expression Blend and Design 2 , we are already busy planning what to do for

  • There are several features present in VS2008 that are conspicuously absent from Blend, especially when it comes to the direct editing of the XAML.  It is borderline inexcusable that the text search feature is on par with Notepad's.    Intellisense and a client plugin for TFS would also be helpful (and have already been mentioned.)  Although Blend is targeted at "designers", in my experience as a developer, it has become an indispensible complementary tool to VS2008.  As such, my advice really leans towards exploring and enhancing the developer experience, and make the 2 tools feel and funciton like part of a common suite.

  • - Source code control integration. TFS would be fine, but even generic VSSI-type interface would be fine.

    - Better XAML editor ala Visual Studio.

    - Expression Design available separately. Personally, I buy and use all of Expression Studio, but for some on my team being able to buy just Design would be better.

  • It's interesting that people so far are focused on code. What I want to see is complete transparency to a code free designer friendly environment.

    Basically, I want to be able to create interactive prototypes without every going into code (VS or even XAML view).

    On a more real front. We REALLY need a true datagrid component/List view that works and is truly stylable. This missing component is a BIG miss in the current versions.

    On the designer front, I really just want a tool that either is completely and flawlessly interroperable with Adobe products or 1:1 matches the functionality of Adobe Fireworks (not Photoshop; though I imagine many more people will want Photoshop and that is a shame as photoshop has the wrong feature set for prototype development).

  • +1 for Intellisense in the XAML editor in Blend

    Full Silverlight 2 support (I know that is in the Blend 2.5 preview, but I want to stress that Blend is much more important to some developers as a Silverlight tool than it is for WPF)

    Some built-in effects and animations that I can add to my project, just like the Flash IDE lets you

  • I'd like to see Design as part of my MSDN PREMIUM subscription for Software Developers so I could tell you what I'd like to see in the next version so a developer/designer such as myself could actually use it like I should already be able to.

  • Since Office hasn't yet included Xaml import, Design should include EMF export.

  • ----- Blend Requests ----------------------------

    - XAML editor intellisense

    - When in XAML editor, auto hide doc panels (or allow separate doc-panel preferences)

    Blend seems to be very aggressive about “helping” by setting properties such as Width, Height, and Margin on elements in an attempt to maintain visual appearance as the user moves and manipulates elements in the designer. This is particularly frustrating when trying to design robust control templates where an explicitly defined Width, Height, and Margin is seldom desired. I find myself repeatedly having to “reset” properties on the same elements.  

    This is also problematic for general layout when sizing-to-content is desired, for example, when the content of a control changes size (think of localized strings within a button) or when resizing of a container (e.g.: a window) occurs. (This aggressive setting of properties also tends to bloat the generated XAML)

    - Settings to control this behavior

  • - Solution folder support

    - Remember what projects are expanded/collapsed

    - XAML intellisense

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