.toolbox: Learn Silverlight, Expression Studio and UX design

Dear visitor: Please keep in mind that this post is originally from Vibor Cipan's personal blog, the name of which we eventually adopted as our company name together with its conveniently-named URL. We're keeping the posts on our official company blog for all the subscribers to Vibor's blog who have read and commented on his previous posts. Please be aware that this post represents Vibor's personal thinking few years ago and doesn't necessarily represent the opinions of the UX Passion as a company today. 

Microsoft’s .toolbox website plans to teach you Silverlight, Expression Studio and UX design principles and fundamentals. You can choose from two available tracks (Design Scenarios and Design Principles), learn a lot, collect badges and brag about that. And you get all that in a nicely designed and packed website.

What is .toolbox?

OK, there is no way to learn any tool or technology just by reading books, or just by reading blogs or… well, just by reading anything. Chances are that you’ll be far more successfully if you actually DO something and get involved in some actual activities, hands-on-labs, or even real-life projects.

.toolbox is a brand new trying to do exactly that – give you an opportunity to get your hands dirty, go to school and grasp Silverlight, Expression Studio and even learn some basics and principles of UX design.

As they say form themselves – .toolbox is a fun online learning environment where you are able to learn basic design concepts and Silverlight + Expression fundamentals and apply those basic design scenarios.

There are two basic learning paths you can try: Design Scenarios and Design Principles. Both have some things in common. For example, they all begin by teaching you basic techniques and other fundamentals – and keep on building your knowledge and skills.

Design Scenarios

This part enables designers and developers to build and create rich Silverlight experiences using Expression Studio – from the basics of development to a bit more advanced topics – this part is mostly targeted towards how to create and build interactive experiences.

Design Principles

Design principles part is something I’ve been waiting for too long on the web to appear in this form. This part will help you learn basic design principles and concepts and it will also give you tips and techniques how to apply all those principles and ideas to your actual creations.

Badges?

Yes – you can earn badges after you complete the evaluation (let’s say it is simple test) found after each level. Evaluation tests are designed to help you test your knowledge after each module. At the end, if you are successful, you will earn “Star” status.

Get started with .toolbox

First thing to do is to go to http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/, create your profile and avatar (there’s really cool way to build your own avatar) and start learning.

Then you might be interested in checking .toolbox on Facebook or follow .toolbox on Twitter.

And yes, .toolbox webpage design is really cheerful, colorful and, as our creative director Antun said – “it looks hippy”. Whatever that means, but I’m looking forward seeing Antun collecting those badges :)

Oh and by the way, this is 100th article on the UXPassion.com. Woohoo ;)

Let’s keep in touch – You should follow me on Twitter now!

Comments (4)

  1. Thank you for the post! ;)

    • Anytime Arturo. Hope to see you next year at MIX!

  2. Truly happy I arrived throughout your site, the information you provide here’s 2nd to none”

  3. Looks good. Will be interested in reading some more reviews.

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