I come from mainly a web development background (ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, XHTML, CSS etc) but have been tasked with creating/designing a Silverlight application. The application is utilising Bing Maps control for Silverlight, this will be contained in a user control and will be the 'main' screen in the system.
There will be numerous other user controls on the form that will be used to choose/filter/sort/order the data on the map. I think of it like Visual Studio: the Bing Maps will be like the code editor window and the other controls will be like Solutions Explorer, Find Results etc. (although a lot less of them!)
I have read up and I'm comfortable with the data side (RIA-Services) of the application. I've (kinda) got my head around databinding and using a view model to present data and keep the code behind file lite.
What I do need some help on is UI design/navigation framework, specifically 2 aspects:
- How do I best implement a fluid design so that the various user controls which filter the map data can be resized/pinned/unpinned (for example, like the Solution Explorer in VS)? I made a test using a Grid with a GridSplitter control, is this the best way? Would it be best to create a Grid/Gridsplitter with Navigation Frames inside the grid to load the content?
- Since I have multiple user controls that basically use the same set of data, should I set the dataContext at the highest possible level (e.g. if using a grid with multiple frames, at the Grid level?).
Any help, tips, links etc. will be very much appreciated!</div