Indigo Studio from a Developer Perspective

[Infragistics] Todd Snyder / Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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As a developer with nearly two decades of working in the trenches. I was skeptical the first time someone mentioned the term User Experience (UX). At the time I didn’t fully grasp the science and engineering involved with creating not just a good experience but a great one.  Like most developers I thought about the user interface from my point of view. I open the toolbox in Visual Studio and started grabbing the controls that made sense for the problem at hand. Never really considering or taking the time to understand what would make the best experience.

Over the last few years, I had the pleasure of working with some of the best and brightest UX minds in the world. In our Infragistics D3 service group we have two distinct teams: Development and User Experience.  During our projects there is a lot of collaboration that happens between these teams. Both groups bring unique prospective to designing and building the best user experience for our customers. We use a variety of techniques and tools during this collaboration including sketches, wireframes, visual design mockup and design guides. The main deliverable we collaborate over are wireframes. A wireframe can be in the form of a simple sketch to a high fidelity PDF document with lots of annotations. Wireframes have an inherent drawback that they are static in nature and don’t always clearly define the user experience.

This is where prototype and tools like Infragistics Indigo Studio shine. Indigo Studio is more than just a simple prototyping tool it a Swiss Army knife that allows you to capture and bring to life the user experience. From a developer point of view, this saves me time not just during the initial collaboration with our UX team but ongoing throughout the entire application development lifecycle. Instead of having to maul over a print out or a PDF document. It’s possible to fire up Indigo Studio and interactively walkthrough a real working prototype. This is a powerful thing that allows us to capture the user experience in a very rich way. Now when our teams are collaborating it much easier to clearly see what the user experience will be. Instead of having to wait weeks or even months for us (developers) to build out the UI of the application. Project stake holders and end users can walk through the same rich interactive prototype and validate how the application will work. This can be a huge time saver and simplify the overall developer effort and cost in building the application.

As a developer it’s easy to get caught up in the bits and bytes involved with a working application an overlook the importance of the user experience. Tools like Infragistics Indigo Studio are invaluable weapons that a developer can add to his arsenal to help capture and bring to life not just a good but a great user experience.