I know I know - I deserve a tomato (or two) in my face for not posting since Kawasaki’s talk in SxSW early this year. Man, blame Twitter! that little thing got me to feel I didn’t need to blog anymore as kind of satisfied my need to reach out to you guys and to be in connection but not anymore, no longer will Twitter be my darling - I’ll go back to blogging. Anyway, just so that you forgive me here are 20 top resources I send out to Microsofties and customers whenever they ask me: How do I get started with Blend? - In Microsoft I focus on the Design audience (Design audience meaning Developers, Designers, UX architects etc) who care about the design capabilities of Silverlight.
Here are what I consider the top 20 resources for you. Ping me if you notice I’ve missed something REALLY important but keep in mind this list is for the “Design” side of Silverlight only… which in my mind is basically Expression Blend.
To Get Started:
1. Go through the Starter Kits
2. Go through the Full Course
3. User Online Resources to get additional info and more tutorials
Download the Expression Blend Trial
Get the Expression Blend for Free via the WebsiteSpark program!
Expression Blend Team Blog
Download Additional Behaviors – Community Gallery
Dynamic Prototyping with SketchFlow in Expression Blend
In this course you will learn all the basics to create Silverlight and Expression experiences. It is an end to end get started. It includes an almost 200 page mini book with exercises, reference material and explanations by American Graphics Institute instructors. It also includes a collection of assets that you will be using throughout the course. For more specialized training check out the Starter Kits below.
File 1 : Get Started with Silverlight - Full course > (100-200 level content)
File 2: Service Pack 1 for the Get Started with Silverlight course – (you need this file in addition to the Full Course file)
Introduction to Prototyping with Sketchflow in Expression Blend 3: Assets, Guide and Video Package
Discover Sketchflow, a new feature set in Expression Blend 3 that helps you define the concept for user experiences in early stages of the design process. From sketches to wireframes to protoypes of simple or high definition, Sketchflow provides you the right tools to communicate your ideas and gather feedback from others.
Creating a ColorSwatch Control in Expression Blend 3: Assets, Guide and Video Package
Victor Gaudioso and AGI Training take us on a tour to learn how to use a custom layout control like the Circular Panel to create fun and creative arrangements of objects in a List Box control. No longer Lists need to be linear and boring. You will learn how to customize this circular panel enabled Listbox to look like a Color Swatch control. This will help you reuse this control in your own projects easily.
Venture into Gaming with Behaviors in Expression Blend 3: Assets, Guide and Video Package
Learn more about how to build a traditional “bricks” game using Expression Blend 3 Behaviors. Simply drag and drop Behaviors over objects in your artboard to easily add powerful and sophisticated functions like animation, physics, interactivity, data connection, effects and more. All without coding. The ever growing Behaviors Gallery at expression.microsoft.com is always avaialable for you to download new behaviors.
Support for Silverlight in Expression Web 3: Assets, Guide, Video Package
Learn how to leverage the new and easy to use Silverlight support features in Expression Web 3. Using a template kindly provided by TemplateMonster.com, AGI Training will help you learn how to take your websites and publish them to an FTP location without having to leave Expression Web.
For Integrators or UI Developers: Building a Product Website with Expression Blend 3: Assets and Guide
Christoph Schittko, Architect Evangelist for Microsoft has produced this amazing lab that will take you by the hand (metaphorically speaking J) and help you put together a Product website that leverages the new Perspective Transformation in Silverlight 3 to create a 3D based rotating Zune that you can customize choosing colours or tattoos.
Discovering SuperPreview in Expression Web 3: Assets, Guide and Video Package
Learn more about SuperPreview, a new visual diagnostics tool in Expression Web 3. In this Starter Kit using a template kindly provided by TemplateMonster.com, you will be provided with detailed guidance on how to leverage SuperPreview to diagnose issues across multiple browser, all with full rendering fidelity and detailed control.
Creating Standards Based Websites with Expression Web 3: Assets, Guide and Video Package
Learn how to produce beautiful and fully standards compliant websites with Expression Web 3 with this Starter Kit. Based on a template kindly provided by TemplateMonster.com, AGI Training gives us a tour on how to follow better practices to achieve W3C compliant HTML code.