How to see all your content in the design view in Visual Studio 2013 and Blend

It’s very common for Windows 8.1 apps to have content that flows beyond the scope of the screen. When you are making an app sometimes you’ll want to see all the content to more effectively make changes in the design and this is how you can do it.

Update: At the time of writing this seems to only work for XAML Windows Store apps .

Let’s say we have a HubPage and would like to see the content all at once, even content in the HubSections that spans beyond the screen size.

Tutorial Hub

 

Open up the Device window and set the Display to Auto 100% scale. You’ll now see all the content in your design view. You can do this both in Visual Studio 2013 and in Blend.

See all your content in design view in Visual Studio

See all your content in design view in Visual Studio

See all your content in design view in Blend

See all your content in design view in Blend

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr

Thumb print family

When our son was born I was fascinated by his tiny hands and fingers. I made sure to take his baby hand prints and foot prints, like many other parents, but I also came up with this idea of making thumb print family snapshots.

Dangphu is my dad and Matlo is my mom. Robert is my husband and Dante is our son. These are each of our thumb prints when Dante was 1 month old. We also have a pet bunny named Bunny. It’s not his paw print in the picture, but a smeared print from Dante that I turned into a bunny.

My family's thumb prints when Dante was 0 year old

My family’s thumb prints when Dante was 0 year old

 

One year later we did the same thing. My mom is sitting in a chair because her thumb print got very smeared. Bunny is not in this thumb print family snapshot, but he is still with us and part of our family.

My family's thumb prints when Dante was 1 year old

My family’s thumb prints when Dante was 1 year old

I wonder if thumb-print-Dante will get taller than thumb-print-me at the same pace as real life Dante grows past me.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr

Women-only clubs

Disclaimer: The following are all my personal views and opinions and do not in any way represent those of my employer.

Today is international women’s day, and I’m supposed to be attending a private event which I’ve been looking forward to for the past week. It was announced with an impressive speaker list consisting of 18 successful leaders in technology of which 14 were women. As a woman who works in the IT field and presents regularly at developer conferences, I was surprised at how many talented female speakers the event had managed to accrue into one roster given that this type of gender distribution is quite disproportionate relative to the IT talent-pool as a whole. Interesting.

As the date drew nearer something occurred to me which ruined my enthusiasm toward listening to these successful individuals. It was a targeted women-only event. The name of the event should have tipped me off, but I accepted the invitation thinking it referred to the many women who would be presenting. Is there a reason why they are preventing these successful women from inspiring men as well? One might argue that it is even more important to put successful women infront of male-only audiences, if for some reason men and women shouldn’t sit together. Having women in IT only talking to other women in IT is really preaching to the choir, especially if the purpose, for whatever reason, is to get more women into IT.

I gave up my seat to someone else.

I’ve attended these types of male-excluding events before, and even with very inspiring speakers, they always feel artificial and contrived to me. I simply don’t believe that women need a different kind of inspiration than men to be successful, or any special womanly treatment for that matter.

I’ve been guilty of organizing women-only events before I actually became “a woman in IT”, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a productive activity. The beautiful thing about IT is that it’s a meritocracy. That’s to say, the only thing that matters is what you do. I don’t feel that women are being singled out in this industry. If you’re going to start a club for people who can’t make it on their own, then I don’t need nor wish to join.

I’m all in for tech companies trying to recruit intelligent and talented people, but only on equal terms regardless of gender, age, height, number of vowels in their names, music taste, sleep pattern, or gamerscore. And I wish all boys and girls could grow up in an environment where they are given the opportunity and courage to pursue their dreams.

Disclaimer: Please remember, these are all my personal views and opinions and do not in any way represent those of my employer.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr

Softies

I never played with dolls when I was smaller, but I did like plush toys and I still have a soft spot for them. Some of my favorite plushies are sitting in a shelf on top of my bookcase. Only one of them is actually from my childhood. The bear in red suit and bow tie was my most priced possession as a kid. Tong-Tong was his name and he followed me wherever I went. The other softies in the shelf have been aquired from different parts of the world during the past 10 years.

Softies in a shelf

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr

Weekly finds

Some of my weekly finds during the past month :)

Follow me @danweitran on Twitter to get daily finds.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr

Design principles

While I oftentimes find myself drawn to exotic looking contemporary designs, I always gravitate back to ones that have a strong link between form and function. In my opinion two of the greatest designers of our time are Dieter Rams, the man behind many iconic product designs at Braun, and Massimo Vignelli who designed the identity and logo for American Airlines and the wayfinding system for the DC Metro. I admire them because they live by their design principles and make creations that are elegant and timeless. Another thing that adds to their greatness is that they have shared their principles, which serve as inspiration to the rest of us and are applicable to any field of design.

Dieter Rams’ 10 principles for good design say that good design:

  • Is innovative
  • Makes a product useful
  • Is aesthetic
  • Makes a product understandable
  • Is unobtrusive
  • Is honest
  • Is long-lasting
  • Is thorough down to the last detail
  • Is environmentally friendly
  • Is as little design as possible

Massimo Vignelli put together his thoughts about design in the Vignelli Canon, which you can download as a pdf-file.

  • Semantics – understanding the subject’s purpose and its environment, in order to create something appropriate.
  • Syntax – establishing a finite set of design elements for the sake of consistency and structure.
  • Pragmatism – letting form follow function to make the design as self-explanatory as possible.

Another set of principles that resonate with me are the Microsoft Modern Design principles:

  • Pride in craftsmanship
    Spend time polishing the details until they are pixel perfect. In the end, little things can make or break a whole design.
  • Fast and fluid
    Focus on the user experience and allow interactions to be fluid. Make sure you present relevant information at all times and let the user get things done as smoothly as possible.
  • Authentically digital
    If you are creating a digital user interface, let a pixel be a pixel instead of trying to recreate physical artifacts or metaphors. Skeuomorphism brings along limitations that exist in the real worlds that doesn’t need to exist in the digital world.
  • Do more with less
    Remove unnecessary clutter and only keep what is needed in the design in order to communicate the purpose. It’s just like Dieter Rams says “less, but better”.
  • Win as one
    Get to know the environment where your digital creation will live. Make sure it interacts well with its surroundings, for example in the case of an app make sure it fits in the existing ecosystem of apps for the particular platform.

Most designers are familiar with design principles and many have their own principles that help guide their works. Great designers live by their principles in order to create wonderful things. As you probably notice there are some similarities between the three sets of principles above. They all encourages honesty, simplicity and a holistic approach to design, which I think are the main pillars of works that will survive the passage time.

What are your design principles?­

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr

I like making cute stuff and creating digital things