In Windows Store App development we first must think about where our application is "Great At". In other words, from the point of view of the user: "Why Should I use your application?". So first decide in which area your application is great. Take a paper and write down those reasons why your user will use your application. In which areas your application satisfies the user's requirements.
Take the example that you are designing an application like Microsoft TechDays to your city. Where you are providing the location details, agenda of the day, speakers of that day, topics to be covered in the speech etc. So first think about the all the requirements stated above; don't give more importance to any one special requirement. After picking one single scenario and explain it in details that are great at like location details as in the following:
- My app is great at providing the event location details.
- My app is great at showing the event locations on maps.
- My app is great at finding the distance between the user's location and the event's location.
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 Windows Store App must support. Every application has their own and unique flow. The following questions may help you to determine the application flow for your Windows Store App:
- What is first and what is next?
- How will the user move through your Windows Store Application UI?
For example take a back step on our example application like Microsoft TechDays to your city. In this application how our user performs his activities. The following points may help you to design your application:
- Creating event with required details.
- Send notification about new event to existing users.
- Send notification about agenda of the event to users.
- User must be able to register for the event.
- 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 Windows Store Application. If your application provides more and new features in its category than other apps then sure app will hit the market. Some guidelines and features which you can include in your Windows Store Application are as follows.
In your Windows Store application if you want your user to continue to visit your application then your application must provide new and fresh content every time. In a Windows Store App to get 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 also send notifications to the user when they are using your app. Think about our example application Microsoft TechDays; when your city posts a new event, we can send a notification of the event to the user so your user will revisit the application. We will talk more about notifications in futuire articles.
Tiles are very important in a Windows Store Application because our application is denoted on the Windows 8 start screen as a tile. To improve the user experience of our application, we provide both the range of the tile i.e. square and wide range. Provide tile personalization capability to the user like change the image of the tile or its size, color etc. Use secondary tiles in your application to quickly launch the application. We will explore this more in my future articles.
In every Windows Store application we must provide system contracts. The following are some common contracts mostly we can use in our Windows Store Application.
- Search: Use the search contract in your application to quickly search content in your application. The user will feel comfortable by providing a search contract in your application.
- Share: Sharing is one of the most important features in every kind of application. Provide a sharing facility in your Windows Store application. For example if your user is able to share the Microsoft TechDays to your city event then it will be very good.