Saturday, November 28, 2009

An in-between project: WPF screensaver for communicating our company values + news

A few weeks ago one of the TopForce founders asked me for an idea for communicating company messages to the TopForce employees. He was considering the usage of a screensaver for this. He had several requirements:
  1. It must be easily possible for the TopForce management to push new messages on-the-fly to our employees
  2. The displayed screensaver is attractive and draws on the attention of both the TopForce employee as coincidental passers-by
  3. The screensaver has a professional layout and styling
Being a SharePoint guy and fan, I immediately thought of applying our SharePoint based intranet for the management and distribution of the screensaver messages. Management can be done via a dashboard page containing multiple ListViews for the different categories of messages. Distribution can be done via SharePoint Lists.asmx webservice. So that's for addressing requirement 1. For the second requirement I considered WPF, you can do all kind of screen graphics and (dynamic) behaviour with that - from very simple to most advanced. For the last requirement; well I'm a developer, not a designer. Different roles, and especially different talents. I directly admit that I do not posses enough designer talent. But luckily I've several colleagues that are especially strong on the User eXperience area. Frodo Jansen did a very good job on desinging the screen-layout, addressing the third requirement.
The sketch of the software architecture for this mini application looks like this:
An impression of the end-result:

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