Windows 8 UX – “first impressions”

Read the original article in spanish at UXSALAD Blog

One of the best things that Microsoft style guide emphasises to design Windows 8 applications is the importance to make a good “first impression” of our solution.

They suggest several ways to accomplish considering the concept and application architecture within its new visual metaphor (also known as Modern UI).


Tiles and Notifications

The tiles are the face of your application and highlights your brand identity. The relevant notifications will always return the user to your application.

If we consider that “a tile” must be distinguishable from a good list of tiles is important to keep it as simple and clear as possible. We do not know if the rumor of abandoning the current home screen of Windows 8  the tiles will lose strength. In any case, I hope never to retreat from the Live Tiles  surely his most original proposal.

Splash Screen

It expresses personality and should load as fast as possible.

There is some confusion between the resolution that recommended guidelines and the final result of the logo. The image used in the splash must have a resolution of 620×300 pixels, which is not to say that the logo must conform 100% to that resolution. In any case there is freedom to take advantage of every pixel as you like.

First launch

Give the user the contents of examples so that you know how to use the application.

Given that any toolbar could be hidden by default and send the contents, examples of contents are a good place to hitch.

But I’m not convinced that this can be applied to applications in which the user must generate content or, for example, in games. In this case, follow the pattern of instant gratification and for that we would have to get the user to do or interact with the application easily and quickly and be compensated for it, and not relegate it simply to see or be a spectator.

Home page

Use the content just to show what it’s made for your application.

If your application is fully oriented content this should be the place where offer that shows you belong to the first level of hierarchy of information architecture. Of course, do not forget that there is the Semantic Zoom and if the contents do not speak enough of your structure the user can always do “pinch” (zoom out) and see everything a little clearer (after labeling).


The combination of all these elements reinforce, as we said, the effort to generate a good impression and make it clear why your application is the best for the purpose it is designed. Although they are strongly linked to the mode of operation of an app for Windows 8 are extrapolated to any other standard, there is more to see how patterns have evolved on other platforms where the contents retrieved his reign.