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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  • Erm ... support Illustrators GradientMesh.

    then a more intelligent Editor for DataBinding .

    And for instance my Blend crashes if i like to generate a groupstyle...

  • XAML intellisense as an out-of-band update for current shipping v2 versions. For future versions,

    1.  Plugin architecture for Design and Blend (c'mon get creative about putting those WPF 3.5 SP1 hardware accelerated effects to use in Design!)

    2.  As someone already pointed out above, complete transparency to a code free designer friendly environment.

    3.  Let Blend take on Flash full on as a more full-featured and easy-to-animate WPF IDE (not platform/runtime features, IDE enhancements), and Design take on Photoshop and Illustrator. Please develop the v3 versions as major overhauls to permanently cement the Expression brand amongst designers and make them switch from Apple & Adobe to Microsoft. Let Expression make its own place as a killer product beside Windows, Office and Visual Studio.

  • I second the suggestions from someone above:

    - Solution folder support

    - XAML intellisense

    Every significant app I've ever seen in Visual Studio uses Solution Folders...


  • Please add the Blend designer to Visual Studio.

    As a developer I need it just like the codebehind model of  ASP.NET and Windows-forms. I don't want to use 2 different tools on the same sourcecode. And I want to be able to work together with designers form just one environment. Keep it stupid simple please.

  • And why is PSD (Photoshop) import/export support not implemented as a WIC codec? Please implement PSD as a WIC codec.

  • Intellisence is a feature that most here have talked about.

    We talk about designer developer independance, but that isn't really true. To be able to say create styles for items in ListView or ComboBox or any other control for that matter, i need to work with Data. Sometimes it means that the designer can't design till developer has code for minimal data. Additionally, sometimes this data is only available at run time and not design time, thus making designing  more difficult.

    Would be good if Blend would come with pre-packaged set of data. 1 for Xml, 1 for object data provider, 1 for SQL etc. These could be used by designers to quickly create some of the visual styles and there should also be an easy way to discard this and replace this with actual application data

  • I would like to be able to convert my Blend Project into a SharePoint Web Part.

  • Find and Mark and Delete orphaned XAML attributes for Silverlight projects:

    For Silverlight it is important to make the download as small as possible. I find that a lot of XAML code remains behind that can and should be removed before making a XAP file:









    etc. etc.

    Blend should be able to recognize, mark and delete this orphaned XAML for Silverlight projects.

  • ∙ Intellisense for the XAML code in Blend

    ∙ Ability to edit and create the code behind all within Blend and not have to switch back and forth between VS2008

    ∙ Add Expression Design to the MSDN Premium Subscription

    Those are my top requests an what others mentioned before me would only be a bonus if they made it into the next release.  The big thing I think is that Blend can be used in place of VS2008 and be just as good of an IDE.  Or here's a strange idea, what if Blend was a "plug-in" inside VS2008 and integrated right inside the already beautiful IDE.  I don't know...I'm just trying to think "outside the box".

  • ∙ XAML code folding

    ∙ Intellisense for the XAML

    ∙ More flexible layout

    ∙ SVG Editor

    ∙ Animation preview

    ∙ Source control system integration


  • Keyboardshortcuts for Order-> Send To Back, Order-> Bring To Front etc.

  • Extensibility.

    Photoshop has plugins, Visual Studio has addins.  Please make the Expression tools extendible so that third party developers can enhance the designer-developer experience.  

  • It would be great if I could select multiple keyframes in a storyboard in an easier and faster way than holding CTRL

  • I think there desperately needs to be a way to trigger animations without having to drop back into code.

    Trying to sell SL to Flash developers when you have to tell them that while they can create storyboards for animations they can't actually trigger or get them to run without doing coding is going to be a shock.

    The whole point of WPF was that the UI could be done by the designers without needing to explain to coders what they wanted... well some of that kind of goes out the window with SilverLight, as in Blend the designers aren't able to trigger animations!!

  • My top 3 in order are:

    1. Intellisense for XAML - I do most of my XAML editing in VS because I can then use Resharper which does a good job of this but could be better - but definitely would reduce my saving and app switching if Intellisense was built in ... to at least the same standard which Jetbrains have done with Resharper & VS) - EG event handler generation etc.  Better still - do 2 and I'm sure Jetbrains will be able to support it.

    2.  An Extensibility model.

    3.  It would also be nice to be able multi-select a number of controls and take an option to "surround with" another control (typically a panel of some sort, or a border).

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