MIX06: Better Design Built Faster: Using New UI Technologies to Speed Development
Achieving complete separation between visual design, content, and logic has long been the Holy Grail of the Web design world. By keeping these separate layers loosely-coupled, they can be developed and changed independently of one another, resulting in faster, more parallel development and more manageable code. That is the vision, but in practice, achieving truly clean separation has been easier said than done. New techniques with AJAX and CSS, and new technologies such as Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly code named "Avalon"), have made achieving the ideal of clean separation more attainable. This session dives into the experiences and lessons learned by Frog Design while using these techniques and technologies on real projects. We explore the impact (good and bad) on processes, collaboration, and efficiency.
Mason Hale founded frog's digital technology practice in 1998. He and his team provide the specialized technical expertise required to realize the innovative and often boundary-expanding solutions frog creates for its clients. As Chief Technologist, Mason has lead or supervised a wide range of software development projects including T-Mobile's online storefront, Windows Media Player skins and 3D music visualizations for Microsoft, Sun Microsystems's corporate and developer community websites, and prototype-creation for clients including Dell Computer, SAP, i2 Technologies, and Nextel, among others. Prior to joining frog, he founded and operated a technology consulting firm, which specialized in building electronic commerce-based applications. From 1994 to 1996, he held the position of Director of Internet Services at WebEdge, Inc., a technology consulting firm that produced a series of popular Internet-related conferences.
As Technology Manager for frog's Austin studio, Nelan mentors and manages the technology team and provides technical leadership on key projects. Nelan's team delivers innovative and high-quality solutions, from analysis and prototyping to production-ready software implementation, using a wide array of tools including web standards technologies, ASP.NET, Java and JSP, PHP, Flash, WPF (Avalon), and Qt. Since joining frog in 2000, Nelan has served as the technical lead on projects for such high-profile clients as Blockbuster, Vodafone, T-Mobile, GE, HP, and Microsoft. The projects have ranged from web-based enterprise applications and online storefronts to portals and corporate intranets. Prior to joining frog, Nelan worked as a web developer at the Texas General Land Office where he launched the agency's first web site and developed numerous database-driven, geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping applications.