I really wanted to let everyone know about this phenomenal resource that was launched during MIX10 this year….called .toolbox.

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So what is it and why should you care?

Here’s the creator’s brief description:

.toolbox is a free online training program from Microsoft for designers and developers that focuses on the design and UX aspects of Silverlight using Expression Studio, as well as on User Experience best practices.

This program will be helpful for your designers to ramp up in the use of Expression Blend and become Silverlight-ready, as well as for your developers who want to ramp up on design composition and best UX practices. .toolbox will guide them through 100 to 400 level training modules. The curriculum offers approximately 36 hours of training content around Expression Blend and Silverlight and approximately 12 hours UX principles training content making .toolbox a comprehensive learning program. People on your team will be able to study the modules at their own pace and schedule.

In essence, if you want to learn this new RIA/NUI/UX/(insert design acronym here)/stuff, this is where you should go. Whether you’re a designer or a developer or a jack of all trades, the bottom line is this stuff is all FREE and you should at least throw this in your to-do list to check out.

To Get Started

1. Go to .toolbox and sign up using your Windows Live ID

2. Visit the School section and explore the curriculum.

3. Select a module, watch the videos, and follow along using the provided guide and assets.

4. Take the evaluation for a completed level to achieve a badge.

5. Broadcast your achievements by posting to Twitter and Facebook.

Useful Links

· .toolbox Website | http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox

· .toolbox Twitter | http://www.twitter.com/designtoolbox

· .toolbox Facebook | http://www.facebook.com/pages/toolbox/349923567926

· .toolbox YouTube | http://www.youtube.com/designtoolbox

· .toolbox Promo Video in YouTube | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5JNwiqpGqI

Check it out.

James