Enhancing Developer/Designer Productivity

“Joe” added the following comment to my earlier post on WPF project structure:

I would be interested to know how developers tackle the Blend issue. I’ve hit problems when most of the visuals are embedded in Data Templates and you only see the final product when real data is populated into the ItemsControls. Are developer teams using canned data just to edit the visuals?

The answer to that question for most of the projects I’ve worked on is definitely “yes”.  Designers are most effective when they can edit templates directly.  To do this in Blend, you often have to simulate the real data by using fake data.

Laurent Bugnion just posted a nice screencast on a very structured approach to enhancing designer/developer productivity in WPF.  This approach is built around the concept that there are three distinct personas involved in the development process:  designer, developer, and integrator (the ever-elusive “devigner” who understands both worlds and can work in the middle to integrate the code and the design).

And in this earlier blog post, Laurent provides an article demonstrating how one might provide “canned data” in design mode to accomodate the editing of templates in Blend.

One Response to “Enhancing Developer/Designer Productivity”

  1. Mike Brown says:

    I recently used the DesignMode property within a UserControl to prepopulate data.

    Actually one nice trick you can do is…well nevermind, I can’t give all of my secrets away in someone elses blog. 😉