Windows Phone offers a great chance to build useful and engaging apps that can be used anywhere around the globe. Before going into the details of Application Concepts, it is necessary to have fundamental knowledge of Application Platform and General Design Principles that help you create an app using best practices for user experience (UX) design. This topic is a collection of opinions from different experts who have pioneered the whole UX of Windows Phone.
In order to quickly build a beautiful and useful application, you need to ask yourself a few general questions about your app and write down the details that pop up in your mind. This will be helpful for you to keep track of your ideas and their origin as you go further with the development of your app. You can then do a little more paperwork by making sketches of different screens or functions (prototypes). Since this is not a design phase therefore, you will just have a quick go through to conceptualize your app.
You’re a story teller and you need to consider the following questions before actual planning and drawing.
What Will Your Application Do?
You just need to have a broader perspective about the main purpose or goal of your app and why will it be useful for your users.
It is better to list down all the tasks (like they want to share location with friends or send a bubble message) based upon priorities. It will not only help you to cut down the unnecessary stuff but will also help you to name your app properly before the submission at Windows Marketplace.
Focusing on these prioritized tasks will also help you to work on them properly. Keep your application’s title, description and tile clear as the users may not be interested in complex details of your app.
Who Is Your Application For?
Since this not an actual design phase but you should know who might like to use your application. Never focus your application for a specific audience until you start creating prototypes. However, it is better to consider your ideal user in early process.
How Does Your Application Fit In?
Conduct a review of similar apps and compare them with your current application that would allow you to come up with the new and exclusive ideas which is not yet implemented by others. You can also connect your app with built-in social networks services, emails, camera and many relevant features of Windows Phone to provide a personal experience.
Where And When Will Your Application Be Used?
Assess the scenarios where will your app be used such as “during the drive” or “at home”. You have to design your app accordingly like putting large buttons on screens that’d be easier to tap. Also list down the techniques how you can stop users from making common mistakes for better usability.
What Kind of Content Will You Display?
Content is King here therefore you need to be very careful while presenting your content on a Windows Phone. For example, a Location Sharing app would have a Bing Map pointing out current location on the maps with the details (Name of your location) on a Pushpin.
Screens with too many controls distract users normally on their first learning experience. Always follow the design advice of “making the content the control” which means you don’t have to use multiple controls when a gesture can do the same thing.
In start, delivering simplified version is better than the advanced one. Once you get a significant response then you can start working on more features of your app. Learn from the design of others and improve them to achieve your goals.
How Can Your Application Use the Hardware?
You should learn about the capabilities of Windows Phone’s camera, sensors, GPS, accelerometer etc. to satisfy the users’ needs by using them in an appropriate way whenever possible.
Four Touch Points
- Home Screen
Consider a situation as what users will love to see when they launch your application first (take a shot at the goals you listed earlier).
- Salient Controls
Controls you have used should be comfortable for hands.
- Beautiful Bits
Make your design simple and let the content be the center of attraction, you can use typography to achieve this.
- Page Tile
Consider your application a small hoarding on your phone’s screen that is live and timely updates with the relevant information automatically.