How To Make High Quality Apps For Metro: Effective Design

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If you’re thinking of or building a Windows 8 app, then good quality is going to be a requirement. Microsoft has made a post helping users to reach that level of quality.

Metro focuses on design, and Microsoft is making sure you know in its latest app developer blog post

One of the key lessons companies are learning from Apple is design; we’ve seen that in Androud 4.1 Jelly Bean – on the Nexus 7, especially – and we’re seeing that in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. On the latter, Microsoft is giving developers some idea on what can make a design of an app better.

Microsoft used an example app called Food with friends, and app for finding restaurants. The app covers three scenarios: finding restaurants to eat at, finding restaurants for friends to eat at and making dinner plans with friends.

The first area was the landing page, or the area you see when opening the app from a closed state. The design is pretty simple in Microsoft’s example: it has six sub-headings, and pictures complimenting a preview of a text. That’s fine, but not what Microsoft wants. Instead they show an example – called a hub – which shows the same content with a picture and a couple of lines of text. It puts the emphasis on content that’s instantly recognizable, and swiping through shows more of the content.

Simple, Yet Effective, Design

Microsoft says to design apps in sections. For example, there’s a Tonight section which is focused on discussion because it’s about deciding where to eat on a particular evening. Then there’s a Friend’s Wishlist section to the right which shows simple out-of-five-stars ratings for restaurants. Again, digestible content.

The third option is Wishlist — you’re favorite restaurants, complete with the aforementioned ratings — and finally there’s an All Restaurants option with categories for types of restaurants (American, Barbeque, African etc.). There’s also the option to see a person’s favorite restaurants and more information about themselves by pressing them along with their reviews.

Ultimately, you’ll get a solid idea and make simple yet effective design. It’s about creating clear sections for content so users know where to head to find particular information. Having everything in tiles defines these sections.

Windows 8 launches late October.

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Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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