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Don't reinvent the wheel.
Collaborate with other applications via contracts.
Be aware of the clouds.
Extensive application of these principles can really make any applications—and not just upcoming
Windows Store applications—much more virtuous and attractive.
Note To understand why Windows 8 UI design principles are important, just consider
that for too many years users of software applications have been forced to think and act
following the rules of the application design. Regardless of best intentions, software did not
take care of end users often enough. This is going to change, though; youngsters are going
to be a much less forgiving generation of users than the current one. Be prepared to design
applications that are fluid in the design—both graphical design and logical design. That's
probably the only software that makes sense shortly. Thanks to the native user interface,
Windows 8 is probably really making this easy.
So the question becomes: How would you turn these guidelines into concrete action?
Design for touch
Touch is what makes an application immediate to use, and it is the primary factor that sets the success
of smartphones and tablets. Touch is, however, also a divider. If you invest in a user interface that's
touch-based, then your software may not be able to run as smoothly on a non-touch device. So it is
key that you never consider touch as the only source of input.
This means, for example, offering the mouse or keyboard to classic users and a touch screen to
younger (or just more immediate) users. In this way, users may, say, pinch and stretch to zoom on
some content on tablets and just click (or perhaps double-click) to get the same effect on laptops.
Be responsive and ready
Touch has been a quantum leap for user experience. It has had the side effect of making another
aspect of user experience even more important—responsiveness. As the user taps and “touches”
visual elements, she expects them to react quickly, such as other objects in the real world. Try lightly
tapping an object on the edge of the table; if the touch was perceived and detected, well, the object
falls down immediately: it doesn't display an hourglass and then fall down a few seconds later.
Beyond touch and responsiveness, intuitiveness of the interaction is also critical. A goal of the
application should be making it clear for users at any stage what the next operations are. This
apparently basic point has nontrivial implications on design of the user interface and organization of
the data and logic.
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