Jerry Nixon

Microsoft Developer Evangelist

August, 2013

Posts
  • Jerry Nixon

    This is the most important control you may ever use

    There are two version of PianoTime for Windows 8 – a successful title from a Colorado publisher. The free version sponsored by ads, and the $3.48 ad free version. Do people purchase their way out of ads? Yes, they do. Do most people. No, they don’t. So...
  • Jerry Nixon

    5 things you must do BEFORE you publish your app.

    You have your idea. You are developing your app. It’s coming along great. You can see the finish line. But do you need to do more than just develop your app? Here are 10 things you should do before you publish.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Create a whiteboard app in 10 minutes

    Recently, I updated my Timer App to version 2. And, one feature I added was a whiteboard. Letting your user draw a picture is cool. It’s also quite useful if they need to express a thousand words quickly. Anyway, I wrote it and thought, “this...
  • Jerry Nixon

    When Windows 8 copies Windows Phone, we are all winners

    imageWindows 8 is the reimagining of Windows. Sure. But, let’s not forget, Windows 8 didn’t invent the new design language, Windows Phone did. To be fair Windows Media Center introduced the first low-chrome Microsoft UI for the 10 foot experience. Zune, then, adopted that clean approach and adjusted it for a small touch screen.

    But, it was Windows Phone that took what we used to call the Metro style to the limit. That team created a crisp and clean design language that was magically pervasive and universally appreciated. Windows 8.0 adopted it, Windows 8.1 gets even more like Phone.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Let’s build a control like that awesome new one in Windows 8.1.

    imageIf you are like me, then every time you get a new MSDN magazine, you flip to the advertisements first. There’s nothing cooler than looking to see what component and control vendors come up with and present as next-gen UI. I have my own ideas on UX, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit those ads, over the years, haven’t influenced me.

    So, when new apps were included in the Windows 8.1 update, I immediately opened them to see if I could glean some UX ideas. Many of them are quite nice. But the timer app is particularly distinctive in its look and interaction. The interesting dial control is quite usable – it’s intuitive and flashy looking. I like both of those.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    At last! A replacement to the Microsoft 7000. Thank you!

    About 80 years ago (more like 10) Microsoft released the Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000. The keyboard, mouse combo was unparalleled in ergonomic value. A culmination in ergonomic research, the 7000 was superior for several reasons!

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Here are some of the new things in Windows 8.1

    imageWindows 8.1 is imminent. What’s the word on the consumer features new to the update? Here’s the top of the list.

    Search

    Get results form your PC (like files, songs, and settings) and from the web with Bing. For some searches, you can tap or click right from the results to open maps, play songs, or call a business.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8 apps need 28 logo varietals; enter Expression Design

    imageOne of the best parts of Expression Design transitioning to a free download is that it is now free. Design is awesome to create complex vector art and export it as XAML. Design can also create various sizes of the same design so your Store app can be successful.

    Note: You can download Design here.

    A Windows Store app needs a logo. As a matter of fact, a Windows Store app needs a logo, a wide logo, a small logo, and a store logo. That’s not so bad, right? Trust me when I say, creating your logo in Design or a tool like Design will save you a lot of heart ache.

    Since I just did this for my Free Timer app, I’ll share my technique.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8: XAML Manipulation using Attached Properties

    In this previous article I discussed methods using XAML Manipulation Events with gestures to transform your UI, making it interactive. I talked about the different approaches you can use to leverage fingers and mouse. In this article, I want to show a...
  • Jerry Nixon

    5 awesome reasons your Start Menu is better in Windows 8.1

    Windows 8.1 is coming. The release date is close. It’s free. Why upgrade? Not only are upgrades sensible from a performance and security perspective, but you get new features. One recipient of some feature love is the Start Menu. If you have already installed the Windows 8.1 preview, then you have experienced some of this magic. Like what? Let’s take a look!

    1. imageStart button

    To me, I don’t need a Start Button. But let’s face it, the Start Button is important to most users. It’s comfort food to Windows users – and in the end, nobody matters like our users. In Windows 8.1, it’s back from its vacation. What does it launch? The Start Menu, of course.

    Bonus: Right-click the returned Start Button (or Start “Tip“) and reveal the Quick Link menu for experts.  This menu, which was previously only available through the Windows+X keyboard shortcut, reveals handy advanced features for expert users. Want more? The Quick Launch menu now includes Shut Down and Sleep commands. Want to shut down with the fewest keystrokes, use this menu!

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