Crafting a Windows Phone App — design thinking

The process of design is to bring order from chaos and randomness — Alex White.

There is always a question in the developer’s mind on the necessity of spending time and resources in planning before starting off development of an app even if it’s something as simple as a scheduling app or tracking app.

“The windows phone design philosophy is exemplified by clean , uncluttered app screens that operate quickly , minimize typing , and surface new info automatically. Interactions happen directly with the content and visual elements have a great fit and finish.”

User experience is the most important aspect of designing an app. We need to constantly think how the design will be enhancing the simplicity and easy-of-use for the user. Taking constant feedback from users, identifying the ones worth addressing, and then adding that to the development cycle is a key design guideline.

“Keep it simple”

“Simple design” is a key principle for designing a windows phone app .“ Ordering” makes a design simple. Taking a lot of different kind of things and putting them in such an order that it feels simple and beautiful. Simplicity is not just about aestheticism, but plays a major role in usability.

When we talk of designing, we need to be very clear about the difference between interface design and graphics design.

Graphics design involves placing of things in an order ( order of shape , colour , size ) so that they look beautiful to the eye. Interface designing involves placing the components in order of their relationship , correlating to their content so that they fit in semantically.

“ The App Map”

To make your app’s visual hierarchy clear to the user, show different types of information with different properties. You can use font size, font color, positioning, and spacing to make different levels in the hierarchy appear distinct from each other. If you use the different property values in a consistent way, the user will get into the rhythm of your app and each level will be distinct and naturally recognizable.

Windows Phone uses grid , infographics and motion graphics to make the visual hierarchy clear to the user. Grid is a consistent and fundamental structure helpful in making layouts . It helps in creating order.

Infographics is a cool way of conveying a lot of information at a time.Adopting the infographic approach means cleaner content, actionable info, and no distractions.

Information delivery is the primary goal, and it shouldn’t be lost in unnecessary details. “Less chrome” is another key principle of Windows Phone app designing. It is only about the content. So that the users attention is not diverted.

Motion brings life to the app and conveys a sense of elegance. The app has to be responsive and should keep the end user engaged. Live tiles and progress bars and rings are ways employed to keep the app alive.

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