As a Silverlight designer, I’m starting to get a real world feel for designing web applications in Silverlight and learning how developers and designers can work together easily within the Silverlight platform.

And let me tell you, with a little bit of organisation, it’s just awesome!

For those who are unaware, Silverlight gives a Designers and Developers the ability to work seamlessly together when creating rich, great looking web applications. But with all the hype and marketing out there about it, who knows what the real story is.

So lets have a quick look at the different ways you can set up you workflow for that next sweet application.

There are few different ways you can work together:

    • Create the code first
    • Create the design first
  • Design and develop at the same time!


Create the code first:

So if you decide that the developer should just create the application and let the designer skin it later, this is a pretty easy way to do things, the developer should be able to throw together the application with code and roughly lay out some buttons and what ever else is needed and then the designer can go into blend with that information and make it look sweet. This is my preferred choice of workflow. I will just receive an application that is basic in look but rich in functionality, in which I can load into blend and start shining it up.

Create the design first:

If this is the case, its best to do a little ground work before you start the design and build process, make sure you know exactly what you need to have for you application and how it should work. What buttons need to be on the screen, where the information will go and how much real estate on the screen that section needs, also you should look into weather the developer thinks some items should be created with “usercontrols” and such.

Design and develop at the same time!:

This is awesome if you need to fast track a project a little, but DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST. Get together with your developer and make sure you pen out the project from start to finish, this includes things like naming conventions for buttons and animations and anything you will be doing. You want your application to just fit together nicely with the code, and once you have both done your part of the deal, bring them together but swapping over the XAML or the code behind files and VOILA! Hopefully you have a sweet little application made in a flash.

So with that said, I guess it comes down to personal preference and what works best for the team working on the project. The best way to find out what works best is try them out and with more projects you will quickly find out what works and what doesn’t. Just remember to be organised and not dive head first into a project, because you will end up with a great looking design that doesn’t have anything to do with what your developer had in mind.

Alex

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