The excitement of Mix 2011 is over, but the excitement of what we learned lives on.
Last year at Mix, we did a usability study of the Visual Studio Windows Phone tools. It was the first time we were allowed to show the tools to anyone in the public. We had great feedback and it was used to stop many arguments that occurred on what we should be doing for the developer. This year, we decided to focus on the new profiler, which is a new tool for the Windows Phone developer.
To run the study, I needed to get the latest Mango build on my laptop and phone. The final build for Mix was ready the Friday before the conference started. A bit later than I would have liked, but at least I had it and was ready to roll. Everything tested out and we even found a bug when I used my own apps as a test case. Which was stressful because I thought the tool was totally broken, but good for the team because now they know to fix it.
Our goal was to run the profiler "in the wild" with attendees apps. We would get feedback on the profiler and the attendees would get to test their apps. Seemed like a pretty good bargain. We ran two usability sessions. We found a number of bugs and a number of user experience issues with the profiler. It was really great feedback for us, and I hope the attendees were equally satisfied with being able to work with Microsoft employees to troubleshoot their apps.
The profiler comes out soon to the public. We're still refining it for the final release. If you're using it and have feedback, please let us know!