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Silverlight 4 User Interface Cookbook

Vibor Cipan

Build and implement rich, standard-friendly user interfaces with Silverlight and Expression Blend
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847198860
Paperback280 pages

About This Book

  • The first and only book to focus exclusively on Silverlight UI development.
  • Have your applications stand out from the crowd with leading, innovative, and friendly user interfaces.
  • Detailed instructions on how to implement specific user interface patterns together with XAML and C# (where needed) code, and explainations that are easy-to-understand and follow..
  • Real world projects which you can explore in detail and make modifications as you go.
  • Written by Vibor Cipan – Microsoft MVP for Expression Blend and WPF, and Silverlight UX specialist


Who This Book Is For

If you are a developer or designer who knows the basics of Silverlight, has a smattering of C# and XAML, and wants to build applications with elegant and attractive interfaces, then this book is for you.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Layouts and General Content Organization
Fluid layout
Creating a navigation pane from scratch
Window management and positioning
Progressive disclosure showing additional controls on demand
Control docking with DockPanel
Journal navigation
Adding a status bar area
Chapter 2: Actions and Commands
Command buttons
Classical menus
Context (right-click) menus
Progress indicators with known process duration
Progress indicators with unknown process duration
Creating menu drop-down
Command links
Split button and creating one from scratch
Multiple item selections with simple ListBox
Multiple item selections with ListBox and CheckBox combinations
Chapter 3: Searching, Finding, and Navigating
Designing prominent action points
How to create faceted navigation and classification
Creating tree views
Creating and using expanders and collapsible panels
Creating and using a paging pattern
Using titled sections
Creating and using task panes(aka Action Panels)
Creating and utilizing promoted actions
Chapter 4: Date and Time Input, Tables, and Ratings
Designing date picker interface
Chapter 5: Maps, Pop-up Windows, and Escaping the Browser
Implementing pop-up window (modal dialogs) in Silverlight
Designing responsive enabling user interface
Adding maps to Silverlight applications
Building full-screen Silverlight experiences
Implementing out-of-browser experiences
Chapter 6: New Controls and Avant-Garde Features
Webcam support and printing
Exploring and using pixel shaders and effects
Animating ListBox items
PathListBox abandoning the rectangular ListBox

What You Will Learn

  • Implement liquid versus fixed layouts to choose the best design for your application
  • Build custom controls like navigation pane, split button, and command link button to suit your application's needs
  • Good design practices for patterns like wizards, tabs, status bar area and window locations
  • Menu usage practices—classical and contextual ones together with guidelines
  • Design and implement navigation patterns, expanders, tiled sections, task panes, and collapsible panels for saving space and minimizing visual distractions
  • Design and implement calendar controls to allow user-specific time and date input
  • Represent large data sets using alternating row colours as a design technique
  • Create a responsive UI and remove the visual noise from the interfaces for a rich user experience
  • Enable full screen Silverlight experiences for interactive applications such as games, maps, and media players.
  • Add and utilize the maps and geo-based UI controls for a truly immersive map experience for your users
  • Use the pixel shading techniques to achieve amazing visual effects on images and controls


In Detail

Silverlight makes it much easier to build web applications with highly usable, interactive, and exciting user interfaces. However, with so many new options open to designers and developers, making the best use of the tools available is not always so easy. It's ease of use and rapid development process has left one area completely uncovered— how to design, build, and implement professional and usable interfaces, and create an enjoyable user experience and interaction.

Written by a Microsoft MVP and Silverlight Prototyping Specialist, this book is the first and only book on developing Silverlight User Interfaces. Clear, step-by-step instructions show how to build all the user interface elements that users look forward to in a cutting edge app. This book offers essential recipes, with each recipe depicting the commonly used user interface patterns built with Silverlight, and in some cases, with WPF to showcase the possibilities.

The author's experience in designing and developing user interfaces enables him to share insights on creating professional interfaces in a clear and friendly way. The book starts off with recipes dealing with fixed and fluid layouts, building custom command link controls, working with navigation, and collapsible panels, and then moves on to the more advanced topics such as calendars, alternating row colors, and task panes. The author covers a number of different UI patterns, controls, and approaches accompanied by XAML and C# code where needed (and explained), along with usage context and practical, proven, and professional techniques for specific controls and patterns.

From maps to task panes, and web cam support to pixel shaders, this Cookbook provides you with a rich selection of Silverlight UI recipes. It covers all that you need to know in order to design and implement a user interface, together with professional user experience and interface guidelines to make your solutions and applications pleasurable for your users.The author has found himself in the role of both, a designer and a developer, at different points in his professional career, and his motive was to create a book that will serve as a useful resource for designers and developers trying to find their way with Silverlight and Expression Blend.By the end of the book, you will be able to create a rich, professional, and standards-compliant user interface.


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