Plans for Designing Metro Style Apps (Windows Store Apps)
In my last article we saw a basic introduction to windows 8 and windows store apps development. In this article we will learn how to plan our Metro Style Apps development. As all of us are aware, before starting any development or any work, that we must make a plan for that. So for that before starting our Metro Style Apps development we have certain plans. In this article we will discuss about those plans before starting our Metro Style Apps. To accomplish our application planning phase we will go through the bellow mentioned points.
Think about “Great At” Statement:
In windows Metro Style Apps development first of all we have to think about where our application is “Great At”. This means the user point of view: Why Should I use your application? So first decide in which area your application is great. Take a paper and write that down at reasons why your user will use your application. In which areas your application satisfies user’s views/needs.
Take example that you are designing the application like Microsoft TechDays to your city. Where you are intended to provide the place details, agenda of the day, speakers of that day, topics to be covered in the speech etc… So first of all think about the entire requirement stated above don’t give more importance to any one special requirement. After that pick one single scenario and explain it in details that are great at like place details bellow.
1) My app is great at providing the event place details.
2) My app is great at showing the event places on maps.
3) My app is great at finding the distance between user place and event place.
Above stated “Great At” statements may help you for your metro style app development to take a Design Decisions.
Think about “User Activities”:
Every application depends on the user interaction with your application. In this section we will explore more about user activities which our Metro Style App must support. Every application have their own and unique flow. Bellow questions may help you to determine the application flow for your Metro Style App:
1) What is first and what is Next?
2) How user will move through your Metro Style Application UI?
For example take a step back on our example application, Microsoft TechDays to your city. In this application how our user perform his activities. Following points may help you to design your application.
1) Creating event with required details.
2) Send notification about new event to existing users.
3) Send notification about agenda of the event to users.
4) User must be able to register for the event.
5) User must receive the notification send by system.
Think about “Feature”:
After deciding “Great At and User Activities” we will move to the feature for our Metro Style Application. If your application provides more and new features in its category than other apps then sure app will be a hit in the market. Some guidelines and features which you can include in your Metro Style Application are as bellow.
In your metro style application if you want your user must visit again and again to your application then your application must provide new and fresh content time to time. In Metro Style App to achieve this feature you can use the various types of notifications. Notifications are useful to provide some new content to user tiles when users are offline and currently not using your application. You can send notification to user when they are using your app also. Think about our example application Microsoft TechDays in your city posted a new event, so we can send some notification about the event to user, means your user will revisit the application. We will talk more about notifications in upcoming articles.
Tiles are very important in Metro Style Application because the application is denoted on windows 8 start screen as a tile. To make user experience better the application has to provide both range of tiles i.e. square and wide range. It should also provide tile personalization to user like change image of tile or size, color etc… Use secondary tiles in your application to quick launch of application. We will further explore this section in my upcoming articles.
In every metro style application we must provide system contracts. Below are some common contracts mostly we can use in our Metro Style Application.
Use search contract in your application to quick search of content in your application. User will feel relaxed by having search contract in your application.
Sharing is the one of the most important features in every kind of application. Provide sharing facility in your metro style application. For example if your user is able to share the Microsoft TechDays to your city event then it will be a very good feature to have.
After thinking about above all the points next we can move to designing our Metro Style Application. Here I’m stopping this discussion and will come with new and interesting topic in my next article.