App Design Tips from Microsoft

App Design Tips from Microsoft

Over my time in and around technology I have built websites on HTML and most recently WordPress. I have also spent a lot of time writing over those years and in both situations it can be challenging to work out the design of those sites and what to write about when they are done. #Inspiration

Building apps runs in a very similar cycle.

You come up with a great idea for an app and want to jump straight into coding it and getting it built. Too many times that means the UI is built on the fly as your putting together the app in your favorite developer tools.

The secret to understand here is that the first thing your prospective user is going to see is now how your app works but how your app looks.

Remember the popular phrase first impressions mean everything? Same concept applies here and it means you have to give your users a user interface that is inviting and works and then make sure the user experience is top notch.

Once you nail those two things the background of the app, the underlying coding you worked so hard on, will bring it all together without the user ever seeing a single line of your code.

Microsoft has certainly had a lot of experience in this area as we have watched them move from the original Metro design for its Windows Phone OS to the current day flat design on Windows 10 Mobile.

They want you to learn from their experience, and I am sure a few of their mistakes, as you design and build your own apps.

Over on the Building Apps for Windows blog earlier this week, the Windows App Team has begun a series on app design to do just that. As they put it to share tricks of the trade with you.

"There is a well-known gap in the software industry between developers and designers, coders, and creatives that you don’t really see in other areas of the field. To improve the flow between development and QA teams, developers long ago rolled up their sleeves and came up with automated unit testing frameworks and continuous integration platforms. To better understand and improve project management, developers taught themselves how to analyze business requirements and adopted agile methodologies (lots and lots of them!).

When it comes to design, however, developers up to now have tended to run for the hills. Why is that?"

They go on to lay out the subject areas they are going to help you build skills in:

  • Typography
  • Color theory
  • Visual balance
  • Iconography
  • Navigation
  • Sketching

Everything begins at the beginning so head over and check out the Getting started with app design post from them and dive straight in.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.


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