×

First time here?

You are looking at the most recent posts. You may also want to check out older archives. Please leave a comment, ask a question and consider subscribing to the latest posts via RSS or email. Thank you for visiting!

Building on the positive feedback of the previous Silverlight application themes released last month (Cosmopolitan, Accent Color, and Windows) the design team is working on another theme targeting business application developers.  We don’t yet have an ‘official’ name for this one yet (and to mitigate the confusion of internal code names again, I’ll spare you the code name), but I wanted to put up a preview.  We’re turning this theme around FAST and I wanted to throw it out here in an initial iteration for preview and comment.  This is the ‘dark’ version of the theme and there will be a light version as well.  This represents only the core control set, but like the others will include other SDK controls as well.

I think it is important to understand the goals as well here so that you don’t wonder hey, we need more pixel-shader-gradient-creating-twhirly-things-with-datatype-binding-and-cascading-selector-path-listboxes in themes!!!  In this effort we tasked the designers to build upon the platform of the previous themes and gave them these goals:

  • Should be ‘brandable’
  • Work with navigation-style Silverlight applications
  • Easily tweakable
  • Will be used most likely by developers with little customization
  • Professional, clean for customer-based line-of-business applications
  • Modern, expressive
  • Wicked cool

It’s hard to mix all of those requirements into something that will uniformly appeal to everyone.  Given that, here’s the iteration step we are at:

Silverlight Application Theme

(click the above image for a full resolution image to see some detail better)

What do you think?  We’re hoping to also be providing some font-alternatives (working through various licensing now) so that you could use different/new embeddable fonts. 

We are moving quickly on this time around and there is little time for change beyond this week.  If you feel strongly about something, share your feedback here ASAP…the designers are listening.  We can’t (and won’t) promise that what you suggest will be implemented (again, trying to please everyone here) but we do want to hear feedback from all sorts of folks who would consider using these professionally designed application themes and styles.

Leave your comments below!


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.


6/1/2010 3:52 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
LOVE IT! I'd love a blue (instead of the green) version too, but that can easily be modified once this theme is available. Great work!
6/1/2010 4:23 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Can we have a blue/aqua version of this theme too? This looks excellent!!
6/1/2010 4:27 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I want to say "I like it ..." ... but, I don't. Sorry, to me it is too drab and dark. I really liked the other themepacks though.
6/1/2010 4:36 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Chris - did you see the note that there will be a light version as well? If so and you still don't like it -- what are your specific thoughts, if any?

Michael -- are you referring to the gray portions of the color pallette? From a control standpoint the structure isn't like mac very much. That said these were inspired from various LOB web and client applications alike that are 'modern'

Keep the feedback coming!!!
6/1/2010 4:41 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I agree. It kind of looks MAC-ish, but I love this theme! I also would love to see blue and green.
6/1/2010 5:01 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I would second having the accent color (in this green) be easily reconfigured in the xaml, hopefully by just redoing a couple of brushes.
6/1/2010 5:07 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Filip/Tom -- have you seen the other themes? We plan on carving them out like that as well -- brushes, etc. are separate resource dictionaries. One quick change trickles throughout.
Gravatar
6/1/2010 5:14 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Great job Tim, keep them coming!
6/1/2010 6:04 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Looks great and can't wait to use but, I have to ask..... when will it be released for WPF? Hopefully same timeframe:)
Gravatar
6/1/2010 6:43 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I like it.
How about a simple Metro theme now that we have light on dark?
6/1/2010 6:47 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Joe -- the simple Metro theme is the Cosmopolitan theme distributed in the previous theme packs (see link above).
6/1/2010 9:26 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Indeed nice one :) Tim is it possible to have the slide effect for top menu clicks by default as it is shown in http://windowsphone7series.com/ as optional attribute?
6/1/2010 9:30 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Hi Tim,

awesome themes so far

but,
2 stuff missing
01. 3d effect feel
02. fluid animation

we hope more theme have a big push on both sector
6/1/2010 11:14 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Um, yes please :-). Looks great, I'll be following with interest. (more) Good themes for devs with bad UI skills is my #1 feature request right now, so please keep it up.

One thing I would like to see is themes with a mix of 'difficulty of implementation'. By this I mean that some of the themes might only have a nice colour palette (for example), while a more difficult theme might have extensive control templates, animations, etc.

Anyway, I'm mainly commenting to encourage you to do more :-)
6/1/2010 11:25 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I think it looks more android-ish. either case, if it Do look mac-ish, that is certainly not a bad thing! I mean, Apple has many, many faults (especially from a devs point of view) but in terms of good looking, usable ui, they are miles ahead of windows, and all gtk/qt based linux ui i´ve seen.
6/2/2010 1:19 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
The best SL theme so far; love its minimal-ish feel...Do you have an ETA for this?
6/2/2010 1:22 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
wow, this is miles away better than the previous three
6/2/2010 4:22 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I love it, love it.
Thanks,
Rachida
6/2/2010 4:59 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Nice ... looks like an XBox 360 theme!!
6/2/2010 7:49 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Nice, but the green seems a bit odd-almost radioactive. I'd try a different accent color, unless this theme is going to be targeted towards fans of the movie "Ghostbusters." If going "North American Corporate" for a target, boring "blue" is a default to try, as might be red (or -gasp- "Silver").

I'd really like to see a version of the Windows Phone 7 theme (is it called "Metro?") available for use here...
6/2/2010 8:07 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Beautiful, I love the look and feel! Consider making the slider more touch-friendly by making the thumb a bit larger.
6/2/2010 8:30 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Jon - have you seen the Cosmopolitan theme? That follows more of the WP7 design styles.
6/2/2010 9:55 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Very nice - it reminds me of the default Adobe Flex 3 theme, but way more polished.
6/2/2010 1:17 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I tooould like to see a blue theme as well. It would be nice to see some more tutorials on the subject...
6/2/2010 2:20 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I like this one best of all so far but now I want it for some WPF work I'm doing also ;)

I think something needs to change with the scrollbars in the ListBox though. I can't place my finger on it exactly but it doesn't seem to fit the theme. I think the up/down buttons and slider look slightly off compared to the normal buttons and combo box.
Gravatar
6/2/2010 3:04 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I must say, i think this was posted here already, but still...very MAC like! An interesting grey-green like combination.
6/2/2010 9:49 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
As a developer who lacks the artistic talent to create a theme myself and is working at a company that does not want to pay for them (for intranet applications), I appreciate these themes very much. Thank you.
6/3/2010 12:06 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
As a designers/developer I love this theme. I have often spent hours styling the standard controls to make super clean UI's but this is fantastic.

The controls look very very clean and neat with loosing any visual characteristics.


Very good job. Love them!

I hope these are easily modifiable so that we can build on to introduce various different color palettes.
Gravatar
6/3/2010 10:24 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
stunning theme, would love to use in in my apps
6/3/2010 12:07 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
JeffCren -- in my inbox waiting for me to publish -- I'll try to get them out today :-)
6/3/2010 9:41 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I will like to see a TreeView
6/10/2010 10:53 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I really like the work you folks are doing with the themes. Whatever you can do to make it easier to customize the "stock" themes would be immensely valuable. Right now we are very confused.

Two requests for the themes:
1) can you make these backwards compatible with Silverlight 3? Right now that's where we're stuck from an international development, global corporate behemoth perspective.
2) Can someone from Microsoft do a tutorial on how to best customize the stock themes? We don't know the best workflow right now.

Additionally, might be nice if you made the timing's something that you can resource. Perhaps you already do, but this way if you wanted to accelerate or slow down transitions for a theme you could do it as easily as you change a brush's color, etc.

6/10/2010 11:10 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Bill - 1) no these aren't SL3 compatible 100% -- you can try to back port, but there are some that won't work. 2) -- excellent point -- have you seen the training resources on microsoft.com/expression?
6/10/2010 12:52 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Hey Tim, Thanks for your reply. I have had a look around and I've come across a few "how to customize the themes" walk-throughs here and there. They generally seem outdated though and don't typically work very easily.

One thing about Expression Dark that seems a bit odd is that the theme doesn't seem to actually use all of the elements as defined. For example, if you go and look inside the System.Windows.Controls.Theming.ExpressionLight.xaml file found in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Silverlight\v3.0\Toolkit\Nov09\Themes\Xaml you will see that a ComboBoxItem style is defined. But when you look at the definition of ComboBox, there is a specific reference to the stock ComboBoxItem:

<Setter Property="ItemContainerStyle" Value="{StaticResource System.Windows.Controls.ComboBoxItem}"/>

Isn't that kind of counterintuitive?

Right now our workflow, such as it is is as follows:

1. add reference to the theming toolkit to the project
2. Add theming xml namespace reference:
xmlns:theming="clr-namespace:System.Windows.Controls.Theming;assembly=System.Windows.Controls.Theming.Toolkit"
3. Copy the stock theme over to somewhere within your project and add reference to it. Now you can refer to it in your code using...
theming:ImplicitStyleManager.ApplyMode="Auto"
theming:ImplicitStyleManager.ResourceDictionaryUri="Themes/CustomizedExpressionDark.xaml"
from within your Grid declarations, including the LayoutRoot's Grid...

4. Copy and paste the relevant control object to your local MainPage.xaml UserControl. Resources and copy over any of the associated references, brushes, etc...
5. Provide x:Key's to the copied over controls
6. Apply those now named templates and then edit them using "Edit Current"
7. Once you have designed your control the way you like it, copy the changed control back to the theme file and test it in a Grid using the theme as mentioned above in step 3.

Is there a better way? How do your themers go about designing their themes?

Many thanks for any guidance or thoughts -

Bill



6/18/2010 5:05 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
On the whole I think it looks great... but I'm not sure about the embossed 3d font used on the buttons and combo - IMHO it makes it look a little dated
6/18/2010 10:36 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I love it the blue has been over done and it is nice to see something different...
7/1/2010 6:17 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Tim, any timeline set for the release of these themes?
8/5/2010 8:41 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this theme ... any timeline on this yet?
8/16/2010 11:06 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
This tweet seems to suggest 3 weeks from August 4th: tweetmeme.com/.../silverlight-theme-jetpack

Tim, can you confirm this time frame?
8/16/2010 12:12 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Philipp -- the final bits are on my desk and I'm testing/packaging myself. Since this is more of an ad-hoc/skunkworks project it's taking more time in-between 'real' projects ;-) -- my apologies for me being the bottleneck.
8/26/2010 12:43 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I will donate a small amount of money to charity if you manage to get the bits off your desk shortly. Ok, ok, I'll donate anyway, but it would be absolutely rock hard awesome if you find the time to do it. My release date is coming up, and I'D LOVE to ship it jetpack-themed.
9/6/2010 3:30 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Hi Tim,

Any update on the availability of final bits for this theme?
2/25/2011 5:06 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I was pleased with reading your superb web site and particularly this post in relation to THEME. I find you deliver priceless information. I am certainly happy I found your web page. You definitely helped with almost all the issues devices for clearing sinuses
3/1/2011 10:09 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Thanks. some great infomation here keep up the good work. I cannot really leave a more constructive comment as i'm abit out of my deph but i will be checking back here for further updates. Custom Product Labels
4/23/2011 10:14 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
I really appreciate and like these themes (especially the Cosmopolitan theme, after a few little tweaks). unlock iphone 3G 3GS 4
4/24/2011 4:03 AM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
There are plenty of good points here, but I’m not sure that under real-time search being discarded. I agree that it is very important, but not the point of that to show what people are saying today about a topic divorce nj
4/24/2011 12:41 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Greetings I recently finished reading through your blog and I'm very impressed. I do have a couple questions for you personally however. Do you think you're thinking about doing a follow-up posting about this? Will you be going to keep bringing up-to-date as well. Embroidery Greensboro
9/27/2011 1:25 PM | # re: SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview
Having a new theme that is brandable would be great. Also having a clean look for my customers would be great too. Would give a very professional appearance. I am new to silverlight but am really glad that I have found out about it.
Pittsburgh Chiropractor
1/13/2012 11:19 AM | # silverlight treeview with connecting lines
Hi Tim i am having some issues regarding to the use of jetpack them wen using it with a treev view with connecting lines can you help me?
best regards

Helder Marques

 
Please add 5 and 4 and type the answer here:

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions/content expressed on this blog are provided "ASIS" with no warranties and are my own personal opinions/content (unless otherwise noted) and do not represent my employer's view in any way.