Design Philosophies For Developing Windows Phone Applications

30th Jan 2012
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From Windows Phone Camp held in Hyderabad


Mango

Amit Sehgal opened this session with the statement, "I love Windows phone." He called the design, "Beautiful." What makes it so special? One word - ‘Metro.’ The word is synonymous with modern, clean, fast, in-motion, with a strong focus on content and typography. A few years back, Microsoft decided to rewrite its design language. The design team brainstormed mobile experience, traveled for new inspiration and finally found it in transportation graphics. Signage is important and also its placement. In an airport, you want the closest, easiest exit. The windows phone operating system works on a similar principle. A mobile device is a companion device, an integral part of daily lives. We need the right information, at the right place, at the right time. The Metro design of the new Windows phone (Mango) provides users with relevant information without distraction.

What should you keep in mind when designing applications? Amit's tips to keep in mind while designing applications for Mango:

  • Keep the apps light, simple and efficient.
  • Focus on primary tasks.
  • Celebrate Typography: Be sensitive towards typography.
  • Content, not chrome: Just as an airport flight schedule board, keep it 'no-nonsense.' Don't focus on the aesthetics.
  • Honest: Be aware of mobile device constraints. Your application may not look the same as on a PC or may not mimic real life application.
  • Motion: Allow cross platform between devices. Distinguish yourself from other apps.

Building a great windows phone app, according to Amit, requires a focus on building ready-to-use experiences. The focus is on the end user. For the target audience in the USA, the design team boiled down user profiles to two generic personality types: Anna (part time professional and busy mom) and Miles (growing his own architectural business).

Amit suggests visualizing the end users, “research your target market and filter the information to a personality type. Give him or her a name and imagine this person before you start designing applications. Use principles that guide experiences, make applications that are personal, relevant and connected.”

In closing, Amit advised the room of developers, “Build delightful experience: Be inspired by metro, but look for balance between the Metro principles and your own style.”

If you are interested in developing apps for Windows Phone, then do click here for further information

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