Few guidelines for developing Quality Windows 8 Applications!


A big part of the Windows 8 experience will be using all the great apps that developers create on Windows 8. There are certain functionalities to consider when you are developing a Windows 8 Application. I have seen many applications which will tend miss basic functionality that every Windows 8 Application should have. In a series of post I will try to highlight those individual features that every windows 8 application should have. Since the focus is on Quality applications that end customers would love to see on Windows 8 devices. Before we get started, we need to define what we mean by "quality." After all, there are many facets to determining quality—like usability, readability, reliability, security, and so on.

Here’s a quick list of features that I would love to see in great applications that you guys will develop:

· Design User Interface:

o As a developer in Microsoft technologies you might be familiar with Silverlight, WPF or Win forms of Application development style of designing your UI like having treeviews, ribbon controls for navigations

o Start Using AppBar may be Top App bar or Bottom AppBar based on your requirements.

o Use Text and Typography

o Content before Chrome is a core principle to Windows 8-styled design so let your content do the talking for the application.

· Implement Snap View: Most Developer miss to develop Snap View. You need not implement if you are using standard inbuilt templates but if you are writing your own then you should think of implementing it.

· Test your Application with respect to different Orientations that it can support like Vertical or Horizontal.

· Implement 3S Charms functionality (Search, Settings and Share) wherever possible. You might have scenarios of having a Search option for your application or Setting options for your application or may be your application might be sharing some details with other application try considering these functionality to implement. Seen many application having textboxes for search option in the application or having setting ‘s button in the page or in the AppBar

· Keep in mind while developing your applications that it might not be connected to internet. So handle those internet connectivity scenarios in your application. Your application should behave well in Offline mode and on limited internet connected scenarios.

· Handle Exceptions and Display Errors

o Use error and warning bar or text in the App

o Do not use flyouts, toasts, or custom UI surfaces to display errors.

· Understand what is PLM (Process Lifecycle Management) in Windows 8 and follow the guidelines to maintain the states for the application.

· Implement or Leverage semantic zoom functionality appropriately so that whenever user zooms in or zooms out in your application he gets proper view of your application.

· Consider implementing tiles and notifications for your application

· Try considering implementing background tasks as some functionality that you implement in Apps That Run While they are not in the foreground.

· Make sure your load time is less than 5 seconds both suspend and resume.

· Try considering implementing Localization. Strange to believe but, the fact is number of English speaking users in Internet users is less than 30%

· Try considering using Webview to display HTML content with in your application.

In subsequent posts will write in detail how to get each feature implemented in Windows 8 Store App.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of the learning and thinking that might go in the design and development of the Windows Store app. I look forward to continuing this conversation, and to seeing your Quality apps in the Windows Store.

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