Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 5 - Microsoft Expression Blend 4 + Sketch Flow

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Friday, June 25, 2010 11:17:49 AM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability and the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes', Pencil, and Microsoft's SketchFlow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Microsoft Expression Blend 4 + SketchFlow

Read on ...

Book Review: .NET Performance Testing and Optimization by Paul Glavich and Chris Farrell

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:13:52 PM in: Book Reviews

I recently got the chance to review the book .NET Performance Testing and Optimization by Paul Glavich and Chris Farrell published by Simple Talk Publishing. Since I am usually a "performance aware" coder and try to think about performance right from the start, I was looking forward to this book with the hopes to learn a few new tricks, techniques and tools. Having read it now, I am not disappointed.

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Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 4 - Pencil

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, June 08, 2010 9:09:25 PM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability and the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes', Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Pencil 1.2.

Read on ...

Using .Less to Change the Way You Write Your CSS

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Thursday, June 03, 2010 9:10:24 AM in: ASP.NET General
I wanted to write a post about .Less for some time, but never found the right time to do so. Now that I am changing my own web site from ASP.NET Web Forms to ASP.NET MVC 2, I thought it was a good idea to incorporate .Less (pronounced as Dot Less) in my own web site and write a little blog post about it
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Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 3 - Microsoft Office Visio 2010

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, June 01, 2010 8:03:49 PM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability. Additionally, the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes' stencil, Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Microsoft Office Visio 2010.

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Rebuilding imar.spaanjaars.com in ASP.NET MVC 2 - Part 5 - RTW

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:52:37 PM in: ASP.NET MVC
You may have noticed that I released the final MVC 2 version of my web site at imar.spaanjaars.com a few days ago.
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Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 2 - Axure RP Pro 5.6

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:58:11 AM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability. Additionally, the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes' stencil, Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Axure RP 5.6.

Read on ...

Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 1 - Balsamiq

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, May 18, 2010 9:33:16 PM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability. Additionally, the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes' stencil, Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Balsamiq Mockups.

Read on ...

Release Candidate of new Imar.Spaanjaars.Com Online

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Monday, May 17, 2010 1:10:44 PM in: Imar's Blogs
Update 6/6/2010: the MVC version is already live at http://imar.spaanjaars.com and the MVC subdomain is no longer available.
I just uploaded the release candidate of my new web site built with ASP.NET MVC to my server.
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Screwing Up Your System and Getting It Back On-Line in Minutes

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Monday, May 17, 2010 9:33:35 AM in: Imar's Blogs

As a developer and a beta-software fanatic, I tend to install and try out a lot of software. Some of it works well and adds value to my "developer toolkit". However, quite often the software is too buggy to work with, has a negative impact on my system's performance or leaves traces when uninstalled. Additionally, just using Windows and the installed applications tends to slow down a system after some time as well. Since having a speedy and responsive system is important for a productive developer, you need to find ways to keep your machine as fast as possible.

Over the years I found a good way to minimize the impact of these applications and Windows usage, enabling me to get my machine back in a clean state in just a few minutes. How?
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