Lots of interesting things happening at SXSW (news, site) over the weekend. Even Microsoft was in the game launching a new User Experience Kit for technical and creative leads. Let's see what's in the box.
Mapping Technology to the User Experience
The Microsoft stack of technologies is big, so big that it may be confusing or frustrating for both technical and creative leads to know how that technology aids in providing a strong user experience. It's not that Microsoft doesn't offer a lot of information on the subject, it's just spread across the entire technology stack.
The new User Experience Kit centralizes all that information, providing things such as videos, reference implementations, sample code, live demos, installable tools, whitepapers, pattern libraries and all that good stuff.
User Experience Kit Deliverables
The kit focuses on a number of important areas including:
- Rich media Delivery
- Content Publishing
- Targeted (Personalized) Experiences
- Multi-Channel Digital Marketing
- Publisher Advertising
- Connected Cients
- Browser Extensions
- Advertising Intelligence
It is good to know that the kit includes a great deal of SharePoint guidance in a number of areas listed above. But it also includes technologies such as Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows 7 Touch, Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone, Expression Studio and Microsoft Advertising
Microsoft's Unified Digital Marketing Platform
How to Get Your Kit
The first phase provided the kit via disk/thumbdrive to install locally. But it's this next phase that will show the most uptaket: a web hosted solution -- on as one would expect, Azure.
It is implemented using Silverlight, is configurable, searchable and tagged. The Browser framework used by the Silverlight Demo Kit is also used for the UX Kit.
The end goal is to see the kit supported and driven by the community, but initial support will come from a Partner Evangelism team.
Phase 1 was delivered on January 15th at 90% completion. This announcement is for Phase 2. Phase 3 will come by the end of the Fiscal year and should include community submission features.
You can view the kit now (of course you may need IE, because the website didn't come up in FireFox) and download whatever you need to get your job done.