Well the smell of smoke is here, the lights are flashing it must be a tech Ed key note.
This year’s keynote had a very good presentation from Lou Carbone, a nice focused presentation on why understanding the emotional response around experience and picking up on the clues that people give about loyalty and retention need to be the focus of future IT experiences.
It was really refreshing to see this coming from a Microsoft conference and in front of so many developers and techies. I’ve been reading a lot recently about Interaction design courtesy of Alan Cooper and is Goal Directed design methods. And this helped cement the other aspect, the emotional attachment.
Somehow Cooper seems more scientific in his hypothesizes but they are very complementary ways of looking at the Interface problem.
The second session I attended was on Software + Services a name Microsoft use to the concept of conjoined rich user experiences and network delivered services. The example of XBox live was repetitively brought up and I think it is a great example of how the two conjoined worlds can meet in a perfect storm. I have to say there’s some merit to Microsoft’s claim that this experience (ie. rich apps moving away from the browser but keeping the services layer) is really something that needs to be tapped. we just need more of the Zero install capabilities that things like Web Apps allow.
So fittingly I went on to the Silverlight quick tour and finally got a bit more of a view of Expression Blend in action and started to cement my thinking along the use of this tool. I have to say the concept is great, but I’m yet to be sold on the execution, It’ll take a lot of work in many companies to remove the design element from the developers. But this work really should be done. We need a clearer separation of responsibilities.