by Matteo Emili, Microsoft MVP

ISO 9241-210 defines User Experienceas "a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service". So, a good UX is a good feeling in using a certain product, or a good perception of it.

Creating a good User Experience in a tool like an IDE is a very hard task. Metaphorically, it is like guaranteeing your toolbox – the DIY one, the one with the hammer, wrenches, etc. – never gets messy. Quite hard, isn’t it?

A great attempt in the right direction is the new Connected IDEfeature in Visual Studio 2013. It is based on the Microsoft Account, in order to save the IDE settings and roam them on as many machines you might use.

But it doesn’t end here. One of the best pieces of the Connected IDE is the Notification Center. It is meant to become the main hub for all the user-targetednotifications. Think about licensing, updates, optional components…everything inside there.

But there are plenty of examples about User Experience around the platform. Another one in Visual Studio ALM is the Web Access.

Using it on a touch-enabled device is definitely a good experience, especially with touch-focused features like the Project Home or the Kanban Board!

It is developed using HTML5, so you can use it on phones and tablets without requiring any kind of components apart from a modern browser.

Despite Visual Studio ALM is mainly targeted at developers, it doesn’t mean we still have to remain at endless combo-boxes or bunch of buttons spread around. The 2013 release features these and several other improvements not just on the technical side but, as users asked via Uservoice, on the UX side as well.

Eventually, in this post from the Visual Studio Engineering Team they explain the effort they put in in enhancing and improving the IDE UX.