Silverlight TV 78: Designing Tiles and Splash Screens for Windows Phone (Design Tips Mini Series)

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In this episode, Corrina continues the Design Tips miniseries by sharing her insights on how to create tiles and splash screens for Windows Phone applications. She walks through the process of creating an icon in Expression Design and how to make tiles look good and quickly mesh with Metro. Corrina then shows how to create a splash screen and gives some good tips on how to make the splash screen provide a better user experience. Finally, she walks through some tips to help with working with gradients. This video is packed with tips from Corrina, including some great keyboard shortcuts she uses when working with Expression Design. The main topics Corrina covers are:

  • Importing photos and using them as a stencil for icons
  • Creating a good splash screen that meshes with your app
  • Simple gradient color solutions

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Colin Melia

    For easy emulator screenshots, use the Windows 7 built-in Snipping Tool in the Window Snip mode and take a perfect 480x800 capture when the emulator is at 100%.

  • User profile image

    Thanks for the ep, it's great to see the 'Design Tips Series' back.

    However just as a note here, the 'non-Microsoft apps' never use the Phone Accent Brush (ie theme color) when they are at the app list. They however do when they are pinned to Startup. Embarassed

    At least that's the behavior I'm having with all the 3rd party apps, I would love to know if it's something I'm missing though...



  • User profile image

    @kouhbi:That's a bug which has been fixed in Mango.

  • User profile image

    @DannyM: Nice, good to know.

    On a separate note, it's great that you talked about the banding problem which I, personally, used to find annoying. If you've been doing some design, you'll know that there is a few ways to work around it, and like Corina kindly showed it involves overlaying Noise on it so that it removes the uniformity in the bands. However, I would advise Blurring the channels first then add Noise per channel. It tends to generally give better results.

    Also, if the gradients look fine on the emulator then you're good to go. I'm referring to a weird issue that affected HTC devices after NoDo update (to be fixed in Mango hopefully), in which the screen colors turn 16-bit instead of the supposed 32-bit. So in these devices, one is very likely to encounter banding in gradients and should probably not worry much about it as long as it renders fine in the Emulator.

    Sorry for the long post Big Smile



  • User profile image

    Great to see a post covering Expression Design.

  • User profile image

    The splash screen that you created didn't show up because there were actually 2 projects with the same name (WeatherApplication_Design_End) open in Expression Blend. Maybe you were working with the other one Wink

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