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5 Key Principles When Designing a Windows Mobile app UI/UX Design

Not every single app interface or experience design is an overnight thing. Whether a design is a subject of primary concern or not, users want things to look good, and work great. Of course, a design varies from app to app.

Gone are the days when users had to do with a limited set of buttons and interactions. Mobile design has opened new avenues of the way we think and the type of behavior we display. Today for our discussion, we will be discussing how to design wonderful apps for Windows Mobile.

A few human psychological factors to consider

To begin with things, there are seven psychological factors of users, you need to consider, for a perfect Windows Mobile app UI/UX design:

• Users aim for a perfect balance within an app such as creating an app design that is radial, asymmetrical, or symmetrical.

• Insert interest areas at right places utilizing app real estate effectively. Place emphasis on important elements or components for a user eye to land first on those areas.

• Everything within your design should be in a proper systematic flow following a nice rhythm.

• Following a set pattern is all about how frequent elements, components, or text should appear and in what manner.

• Have a proportional number of things incorporated into a single screen. Do not go overboard by cluttering too many things on any specific corner.

• Variety is what attracts users. App screen should look and behave differently from one another, giving a sense of uniqueness with every screen.

• All the elements and components present on different app screens, should unitedly work with one another so that an action provokes another on a separate screen.

Five useful principles to follow

It is not required for you to be an expert in Windows 8 mobile app design. You just need to understand latest modern UI through a proprietary design language and style, formerly known as Metro. We are not here to debate whether Windows 8 is bad or good, but we are here to guide you what principles to consider when designing UI/UX for a Windows mobile app.

1. Touch is important but not everything

A lot has been said about the touch capabilities possessed by Windows Mobile OS. Just to rewind things, Windows Mobile offers feature based touch gestures, helping users have a direct interaction with the content. However, they do differ from device to device.

It is not just the touch gestures making a difference, but also how interactive the interface is, letting the experience memorable and intuitive. When designing a Windows-based app, you need to ensure that the app is extremely simple allowing for minimal touch gestures and easy to move around the app.

2. Navigating things through a navigation bar

Since Windows users are looking for a highly user-friendly OS just like the desktop version, it is more than apt to create an app on similar lines. Swiping need to be a lot easier than on iOS, or Android. Moreover, a user should be able to take transitions between app screen with a minimal number of steps.

3. A striking logo is important to grab attention

If you ever had a chance to visit the Windows Store, you will understand how important the logo is, grabbing attention in a striking way. As you can see here, apps are differentiated in terms of categories such as “popular”, “suggested by staff”, and more. If your app has a wonderful looking picture, users will surely be intrigued to download the app at least once.

4. 5S functionalities do the trick

Windows contain 5 major features accessible by all default applications: Settings, Devices, Start, Share, and Search. Settings refer to the application settings related to the OS as well as the associated devices. Devices let users know devices connected with your phone. Start brings users to the Start Screen. Share feature helps users to share content with your apps. Search helps users to find something within the app, or the OS itself, for relevant information. Let your app take the best advantage of the 5S, allowing users to possibly do everything with the app.

5. App branding accompanied with grid layout

Windows apps are all divided into a grid-based layout with units of 20px. The grid based layout helps in achieving uniformity across multiple apps with ease. This results in users focusing on the ease of discoverability, reinforcing the focus on the content. A grid might look like a constricted layout. However, there is a lot of room for innovation and creativity within app UI/UX design. Talking about the branding of your app, there are few ways to enhance the overall appearance.

Apply color schemes that will enable users connecting with familiar color recognitions, delivering a uniform layout. Allow users to customize, play around with colors as well as images, to convey your brand effectively to the users. Another way is to use nice backgrounds uplifting the overall app identity. If your app is stimulating visually, it will add a lot of character to the app identity. A large logo reinstates smooth navigation and easy discoverability.

Although there are too many default templates, helping you guide with the Windows app, it is important how do you convey brand, aesthetics, and voice through your brand.

The final takeaways you need to take home

Nowadays, Windows follow a modern style in UI/UX design. Understand the design, but do not be overwhelmed with that. We just discussed the principles related to UI/UX design. Let us have a quick walkthrough, with things we conclude from our discussion.

• Touch is important, but swiping or dragging is even more necessary.
• Incorporate latest gestures to make your app more contemporary.
• Have a thorough evaluation of whether the integrated things are essential for your app users or not. Exclude ones that are not essential.
• Maintain your app identity and branding throughout every single app screen, to let your app look apart, with a nice brand personality.

There are pros and cons associated with Windows. However, the OS is surely here to stay for long, in spite of a cutthroat competition between two most popular mobile OSes, iOS, and Android. Keeping these insights in mind allows you a smooth ride when designing apps for Windows Mobile.

Written By

Jennifer Brown is a software developer at Digital Infoware Pvt. Ltd., an IT company with expertise in mobile application development services, delivering high-end user friendly apps development solutions. She feels glad to share her experience through informative and enlightening articles.

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