My MIX11 Recap: Day 2


The second keynote of MIX11 covered (mostly) Windows Phone 7, Silverlight 5 and Kinect. Before getting to upcoming Windows Phone features, Joe Belfiore explained what happened (or not happened) with the WP7 updates. While it sounded plausible, it also differed from the initial message regarding updates for WP7 and Microsoft’s control over it. My take-away from the presentation of the features of the “Mango” update: Lots of catching up to other phones OSes, some features (like deep linking) demonstrating a specific direction and vision behind Windows Phone. Promising, but Android and iPhone aren’t sleeping.

Then, finally: Silverlight. Huge applause from the crowd. No wonder, because regardless who I talked to at MIX: Silverlight devs love their platform. The choice of an example site shown during this segment was odd: The Blue Angels’ website? Oh, yes, video. Hmm. But not exactly what I would use as a demo case for Silverlight. After that ScottGu showed a few Silverlight 5 features, but the Silverlight segment turned out to be rather short.

The keynote ended with a segment on Kinect. Some cool demos here – man I wish they’d shown them on day 1 during the keynote that ended half an hour early. Nice surprise: Every attendee got a Kinect. Not a dumb idea, because if there’s a crowd that will not only hook up the gift to an XBox, but will also use the Kinect SDK for PCs (coming May 13th), then it’s the MIX11 attendees.

When the keynote was over, something was still missing. There was no Bill Buxton, no UX content at all. Later I heard somebody say he felt that MIX was “hijacked by devs” and turned into a developer conference. I cannot disagree.

Session: Building In Browser Experiences with Silverlight 5

Not an exciting, but solid presentation showing off new features such as implicit data templates, custom markup extensions, binding within style setters, text layout and databinding debugging. I’m really looking forward to the final release of SL5.

Session: Crafty UX - UX Lightning Series

The second of the sessions from the UX lightning series. Word of mouth that had praised the first session quickly filled the room with people, and they were not to be disappointed.

  • 10 Minute UX Ninja
  • Conceptual Design – Tactics and Techniques
  • Phidgets & Real-Time Sensor Data Visualization
  • Prototyping Interfaces with Motion Graphics

Interesting stuff, and the 10 minutes limit really made the presenters prepare their talks well – something that always pays off.

Session: Back to Square One

This was a pretty “fluffy” session, but that was to be expected from Nishant Kothary, who I first heard last year with “The Elephant in the Room”. Like last year the talk covered human factors. It was hurt a bit by the (way too long) story of the airline pilot who unexpectedly did the wrong thing. That was a pity because that story conveyed an important message: Under pressure to achieve a certain goal, people will do things that appear to be a good solution without checking all possible outcomes – something that happens often enough in user interfaces.

Attendee Party

Nice location, great DJ. At some point the loudness of the music didn’t really help to keep the promise of “a 72-hour conversation”.

Next up: My MIX11 Recap: Day 3

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