Is ASP.NET MVC Inappropriate for User Interface Designers?
Applications, both on native and on the web, generally fall into two categories. Most are utilitarian, with a lot of investment in functionality and little or no active involvement from graphic artists beyond the initial mock-ups. Then there are the ones that focus on appearance first, with full-fledged user interface designers working alongside the programmers every step of the way. These people are often expected to work directly with the HTML, MXML, or XAML.
The story of XAML is a mixed one. It takes a lot of effort by the programmers to ensure their code works correctly in Blend’s design-time environment. But if they do it, the user interface designers can see exactly what the finished product is going to look like just as if they were using an HTML/CSS tool.
For ASP.NET MVC, the picture is far worse. While it has made great strides in making development easier, Michael Taylor argues that the technology regressed in other ways.
But there is a problem in MVC land. We're building UIs so why can't I visually see what my page is going to look like within the designer? It brings back memories of the ASP/HTML days where you'd write your UI and then run IE to see what it looks like. From a UI designer perspective this is insane. One of the really big features of ASP.NET (and perhaps Visual Interdev) was that I could write my UI and then switch over and view it without leaving VS. I could even drag and drop controls onto the form and voila I could make changes until it is just right. No such ability in MVC.
Michael’s specific complaints are easy to understand. Without the ability to render the MVC blocks at design time, there is no way to see how changes to the CSS will affect the view in the designer. That said, there are workarounds available. One option would be to run the site and copy the generated HTML into a static file. From there the designer can play with the styling using whatever tools they prefer.
Another problem plaguing the industry is the inability to see browser-specific rendering issues. Like most tools, Visual Studio doesn’t warn developers when they use techniques that may not be compatible across browsers. So designers are left with the unenviable task on manually examining each browser to see if their CSS actually works.
Wasnt any better in web forms
Even if you had it perfect and coded "for" the designer, it wasn't exactly pretty. Just run the app if you want to see the page...
To be honest, the amount of web designers (not programmers) who could handle ASP.NET WebForms, design time support or not was near-zero. If you really need non-programmers to work with your pages, just save yourself the trouble: use a web publishing CMS that is meant for that, or a workflow where the designer does design and hand it over the programmer.
I really have never heard of any hardcore HTML designers that have had this complaint. I've only heard complaints about the design view, that it modified the HTML, was a poor visual representation, and in general hindered rather than helped.
'Design VIew' in an IDE is never a substitute for a browser
Is this article inappropriate for Infoq?
ASP.NET MVC2 or MVC3
I don't think a designer with strong skills wants to use drag and drop tools for designing a web application/site.
This is really funny.
not sure the of the problem
Reflexive MS Bashing
Multiple renderers, so why rely on a single "Design view"
So I've given up and have decided to use the time I would have spent on a seventh comment re-write on checking my many free and highly accurate "design views" (i.e. primarily Chrome, IE, Firefox, Opera) to check that my pre-coffee break work is still cross-browser compatible.
have you ever actually used webforms?!
Designer: "Uhhh.. ok how can I style the heading of the table?"
Me: "Oh, easy, you just need to apply a HeaderStyle-CssClass attribute to the asp:GridView..."
I could even drag and drop controls onto the form and voila I could make changes until it is just right.
Hahah, more like "Voila! Page now no longer renders properly in a browser". Seriously, just go and try this on any web page, the results will be disastrous.
No one drags and drops controls in web forms, and no one actually uses design view.
This highlights bad design practices
Looking at the illegal markup of the web I wouldn't be surprised if people calling themselves web designers do the things described in the article.
In my view using different browsers is just part of the job. Anybody who only looks at the page and doesn't change window size, alter font size and (if needed) run through whatever the back end services write on the page, is still going to make mistakes.
I notice a growing number of sites where this hasn't been done. A growing wave of unusable web pages.
Marco Antonio Orestes Teixeira
To this I say, if you want to see how your page will look like, run it in the browser with real data! The design view for the ASP.NET MVC, in my opinion, is crap.
Why don't we deliver our applications through visual studio and forget about browsers and such nonsense.
Excuse me but...
Is he a well known UI design guru or something to be quoted like that on InfoQ ?
Or the article author was just so out of idea that he just pulled out a random low quality blog article to fill something here ?
The "IDEs Design-View" is just another browser...
A real designer (person) will always use Photoshop, Fireworks or whatever to *design* a page and second bring the design to HTML+CSS.
Tiago Romero Garcia Mar 01, 2015
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