S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
Today we are announcing a new set of products under a new brand called Microsoft Expression. Microsoft Expression is a suite of tools targeted at creative professionals including Web designers, UI designers and graphic artists. At PDC 2005, we will demo professional designers using Expression working together with developers using Visual Studio. With Microsoft’s platform and Microsoft Expression, designers and developers can work together to build applications that deliver superior user experience, and that will enhance user productivity and satisfaction.
Why are we building Microsoft Expression?
Ease of use and richness of the experience are the two key pillars for User Experience. Delivering a superior user experience is increasingly important to the success of many types of applications, for both consumer and enterprise users, on both the client and the web. However, a principal challenge for delivering great user experiences has been the complexity of designer and developer collaboration. Today, designers must often communicate their vision for a user interface or application experience using approximations such as graphic storyboards, wire-frames, rough prototypes, and written and spoken notes. While these may provide a varying degree of clarity regarding the objective of the design, in most cases the developer must then consider how to “re-create” the look and behavior of the design using a completely different set of technologies. Where a designer may have shared bitmaps and a video animation of the prototype, a developer is likely required to implement using a combination of code and different application programming interfaces. This complexity leads to tradeoffs of time, functionality and cost that end up compromising the experience in the final application.
To address the above challenges, we are announcing three new products: