New Windows Developer Portal and UX Guidelines too

No code today (well that's kind of a lie, there's lots of code, but, well, you'll see), sorry. Instead I'm going to highlight two different resources that every Windows/Windows Phone Universal App developer will want and need to check out.

First, last week we introduced a new unified (shall we say universal) development portal for Windows/Windows Phone development, dev.windows.com...

...Unified Windows developer portal and documentation...

dev.windows.com, the one place to learn about Windows app development

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In the unified site you will find the content and guidance for both Windows Phone and Windows Dev Centers consolidated in to a single location. Learn about design, find the tools you need for development, and understand the steps to publish universal Windows apps. We’ve also combined code samples and forums into a single, convenient location.

Unified documentation: You will now see a comprehensive, combined documentation set to help you learn how to build apps for Windows devices (phone, tablet and PC), with API and feature distinctions clearly called out. Documentation is now available in 11 languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

Single location for code samples: The code samples for Windows Phone and Windows Store apps, as well as for universal Windows apps, continue to be published in the MSDN code gallery. The difference is that they are now easily accessible directly from one Dev Center page.

Single location for developer forums: The Windows Store apps and Windows Phone developer forums have been merged into one streamlined set of forums. The dashboard forums have been combined so that they appear together in one location, while the technical forums remain specialized for each form factor.

The dashboards will remain separate for Windows Phone and Windows. When you first click the Dashboard link in the Dev Center, you’ll be able to choose which one to start with. After that, switching between the two is simple. Just use the link in the left-hand navigation pane.

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Secondly, here's a new prescriptive UX guideline to help you understand and build the next great Universal app...

UX Guidelines for Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps

User experience guidelines for Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps 

Version: GA 1.0

File Name: W8_1_Guidlines.pdf

Date Published: 7/18/2014

File Size: 9.2 MB

Learn how to design great Windows Store and Windows Phone apps with these detailed user experience guidelines.

This is a 447 page PDF... free...

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Get recommendations from the experts. These guidelines can help you design great Windows Store and Windows Phone Store apps. They cover a variety of essential topics, including layout, controls, accessibility, user interactions, text, and animation.

Introduction
Microsoft design principles

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Here are five principles for building great Windows Store apps. Use these principles when you plan your app, and always ensure that your design and development choices live up to them.

Pride in craftsmanship
Engineer the experience to be complete, thorough, and polished at every stage. Devote time and energy to small things that are seen often by many of your users.
 Sweat the details.
 Make using apps safe and reliable.
 Use balance, symmetry, and hierarchy.
 Align your app layout to the grid, the new layout for apps.
 Make your app accessible to the widest possible audience, including people who have impairments or disabilities.

...

Be fast and fluid
Let people interact directly with content. Respond to actions quickly with matching energy. Bring life to the experience by creating a sense of continuity and telling a story through meaningful use of motion.
 Be responsive to user interaction and ready for the next interaction.
 Design for touch and direct interaction.
 Delight your users with motion.
 Smoothly connect to what comes before and after.

Authentically digital
Exemplify the capabilities of hardware and software. Take full advantage of the digital medium. Remove physical boundaries to create experiences that are more efficient and effortless than reality. Being authentically digital means embracing the fact that apps are pixels on a screen. It means designing with colors and images that go beyond the limits of the real world.
 Be dynamic and alive with communication.
 Use typography beautifully.
 Use bold, vibrant colors.
 Connect to the cloud so that your users can stay connected to each other.

Do more with less
You can do more with less by reducing your design to its essence. Create a clean and purposeful experience by leaving only the most relevant elements on screen so people can be immersed in the content.
 Be great at something instead of mediocre at lots of things.
 Put content before chrome.
 Be visually focused and direct, letting people get immersed in what they love, and they will explore the rest.
 Inspire confidence in users.
 Reduce redundancy in your UI.

Win as one
Work with other apps, devices, and the system to complete scenarios for people. For example, let people get content from one app and share it with another. Take advantage of what people already know, like standard touch gestures and charms, to provide a sense of familiarity, control, and confidence.
 Use the UI model.
 Work with other apps to complete scenarios by participating in app contracts.
 Use our tools and templates to promote consistency.

Following these five Microsoft design principles will help you make the best choices when you design your app.

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And that just in the first 10 pages...



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