CanUX 2006 (Follow-Up)

Last weekend, I ventured west to the snowy confines of BanffAlberta to attend & present atCanUX 2006. (Please see my previous post on this event.) I was amazed at the level of passion and expertise I found in the Canadian Rockies. These folks seriously love design and usability!

On Saturday night, I got to hang out with some of the organizers of CanUX 2006 - particularly, David Crow and Bryce JohnsonDavid and Bryce rock - both are very friendly and totally dialled-in with the local dev/design community in Accordion City. It was a pleasure to chat with them about everything from classic 80's references like ThunderCats to Windows Vista.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Kristan Uccello that same night. Kristan is a veteran of theBarCamp/DemoCamp scene in Accordion City and a very bright guy. We had a great conversation about security in Windows Vista. Some of the most interesting scenarios and questions I've had about Windows Vista came from Kristan in the span of about twenty (20) minutes. Great stuff!

After risking my life on the drive home on Saturday night (it snowed), I travelled back toBanff the following morning. Once I arrived, I got chatting with a few of the folks at the workshop. To my surprise, many of them were interested in my laptop, which was runningWindows Vista RC 1 and Office 2007 B2TR. I decided to provide a couple of impromptu demonstrations of the running bits. Afterward, Kristan and I conducted an interview for theDeveloper Night in Canada (DNIC) podcast. At the same time, I was fortunate enough to witness the taping of The Chicken Test, a vlog by Bryce. (There's nothing better than a talking chicken.) I even got interviewed by the bird itself!

Later that afternoon, it was my time to provide a demonstration of Microsoft Expression. Unfortunately, I was unable to show Microsoft Expression Graphic Designer because I didn't have it installed on my laptop. However, I was able to show Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer and aspects of the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). I think the biggest impact of these technologies is how they will (finally) enable the designer and developer to work together - this is something that has been missing for quite a while now.

I was also able to demonstrate Microsoft Expression Web Designer. During the demo, I got many questions regarding the features it provides. I made sure to highlight its support for Web standards like Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and HTML. Following the demo, some folks informed me that they were running Microsoft Expression Web Designer and preferred it to competing products in the marketplace. Wicked!

Overall, I was very impressed with CanUX 2006. If it returns to Banff next year, I hope to attend once again.

FWIW: Photos of the event can be viewed here. (Flickr tags, CanUX or CanUX2006.)