“MIX Online” site relaunched – raising the bar

The developer evangelist group at Microsoft – who’s behind the popular sites Channel9, On10 and events like PDC – is raising the bar for Microsoft websites from both design and technical perspectives. The new “MIX Online” site has been revamped from the grounds up to be a content portal for web designers and developers.

One of the projects they’re launching alongside the site is “Oomph“, a very cool Javascript toolkit for displaying microformats to the end-user. Check out a demo here (click the top left icon).

On the surface it’s a great looking site – very clean and fun – but what’s more interesting is what you can’t see. Under the hood the site was built using the new ASP.NET MVC framework. Up until now I’ve not paid much attention to ASP.NET but this new framework has caught my attention to build great functional sites at the same time not sacrificing the quality of markup. In fact what’s pretty amazing is that the “MIX Online” site is validated 100% XHTML 1.0 Strict compliant. That’s something worth noting for a Microsoft site.

Finally you can also check out the revamped sister site for the MIX09 event. A little more conservative but still pretty hip.

Update: For those who want to learn about ASP.NET MVC, there’s good news. The developers aims to make the “MIX Online” site source code freely available on CodePlex in the future. Keep watching the site for more info.

22 insightful thoughts

  1. And those of us that are Infrastructure IT Pros have to put up with the “Edge” website – supposedly completed by the same team that did 9,10,onNet, etc but is a joke compared to all of the others … this site sure is purty though.

  2. @Chris Haaker

    I’m on the team that built MIX Online, Channel 9, Channel 8, Channel 10 and TechNetEdge. Thanks, I think. 😛

    Edge and MIX were joint efforts by us and other teams. I’m not sure if your complaints have to do with what we’ve built or the content or what. Be sure to leave your feedback at the Edge site though. It’s important that if you don’t like the site that we hear your feedback.

  3. @Erik Porter – I simply meant that all those other sites rock – including this new one. Why is the edge site a fail when it was done by the same team. The content is good, but it looks so basic and tired compared to the others. I dont know why, it just seems like it got the short end of the stick … red-headed step-child, whatever you want to call it. I am an IT Pro and I was hoping for so much more.

  4. @Avatar: We (Erik and I) are from the dev team, so we used Visual Studio … there is a lot of different moving parts to any dynamic website and I don’t believe anyone would use Expression Web to write the actual ASP.NET code, etc… The design was done by the Mix team themselves though (the guys on the about page) and I’m pretty sure they used a combination of tools that included Expression Web, probably photoshop or Expression Design as well … to start our coding process though, they delivered HTML/CSS/Javascript to us and from that point on all edits were being checked into source code control and as far as I know everyone was using Visual Studio.

    @Chris Haaker … as Erik said, the design was done by different folks than C9, it was an attempt to match C9 in structure but to bring in the feel/style of TechNet. TechNet is not the most exciting site from a design point of view, and I think Edge inherited that corporate/reference library feel. There is nothing, other than time/money, stopping us from changing the design though, so jump on back to Edge and post your thoughts!

  5. @Duncan:

    Yes of course. i meant the design and the design code. i think it is a truly cool design and website. it will be really interesting to have a look at the code at codeplex and i do hope it indeed is Expression Studio. it would be a good promo card to it. more considering it is for the Mix site no less.

    But thanks for the detailed response. i guess now we only need the side from Erik to complement on this.

  6. Well done Building 18! :)

    This is great to see not only did the Visitmix Team dogfood our own products, but also worked really hard to ensure the design was complimentary to the mad skills of the Duncan + Erik + Team’s jupiter sized brains :)

    *Poke Adam/Josh*.. how about a behind the scenes video on how it all came about.

    Scott Barnes
    Rich Platforms Product Manager

  7. A site well done! The team who redesigned that site, really ought to give some tips to the people who make the blasphemous MSN sites, and a little help to the Windows Live sites. Not to forget Microsoft.com of course…

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