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Approach to Windows 8.1 development factors

So long that I did not have time to post a new thing, this essentially due to a lot of business which was taking most of my time. Xmas holidays gives me the opportunity to write the following article on some experience approach I met by building a Windows 8 applications. What will follow are not all about Windows 8 development but basic key point of mine to approach safely a project.

Like any others when you want to learn for a new technologies or concept you are looking for free course provided not only by pro’s but also from professional people who succeed different real projects.

As a new comer on Windows 8.1 development due to some raising customer project, I was actually looking from different starting point on the technology and approaches. What was essential for me was to go to the right place and avoid a kind of step by step starting from the famous “Hello word”.

Reducing the learning curve is the key

My expertise is on C# and XAML by building different business application in a collaborative manner. So my main objective was to minimized the famous learning curve that all of us gets scared about when you have something real to produce. What I mean by something real to produce is not a simple project just to have fun and then say at the end “Yeah I got it”, but instead a business app that my customer is expecting on time and where he can measure his ROI based on given specification and objective, then you will finally able to say: “Yeah my customer is happy”. Taken from that last point of view, the learning phase approach is completely different and the only thing you need to know is essentially where you are going by following some of my rules:

  • You know already a language ? if it suite your app, stick with it. If it is not, do whatever it is possible in order that I will fit your app
  • Think of your application in a way that “what will it bring to my customer ?” instead of “what feature should I add ?
  • 1 Application + One customer goal = A unique app
  • Identify as early as possible your application target ( Mobile or Dektop or Both)
  • Plan your application architecture based on your target and app evolution
  • Identify if your app should be Public or more Line of Business App (LOB)
  • In case of business app ( use of SideLoading) , think carefully how you will sell your app and give it accessibility for download as it will be an external link from the Windows Store.

Resources:

Line of business app :

Apps Certification :

Hands on Windows 8 development :

Application user interface and interaction : More important than ever

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I am personally coming from a deep experience of application interaction and design in the Microsoft PixelSense world. I was in charge of building collaborative application and considering how you will bring your application content to your users. More than an important objective but a MUST to make your application unique and have your users being free to explore what you will provide by content. With Windows 8, that approach of user interface and design is even more important because you need to cover different type of devices resolution today as mobile screen are coming bigger, as well as taking care of devices sensor and present content correctly based on devices orientation.

Before anything the good thing is to go through the Windows 8 Design Guide Lines in order to understand why they are so important. We have seen so many poor apps running in the store which are pure adjustment of an existing web site without a real thinking of the user interaction.

Never forget that an application is appreciated by your users within the first 30 seconds

You have different solution available for that :

  • Microsoft Blend for your SketchFlow ( can be time consuming if not used to )
  • Microsoft Expression for your graphic design
  • Microsoft Power-Point can be a nice and well known tool to elaborate design
  • One bloc of paper and a Pen (Easier and faster solution)

During my all experience as developer and design interaction, I always come out with a basic sentence in mind who has confirmed all my successful deployments :

ALWAYS KEEP IT SIMPLE

You can have in hands the best tool ever, thinking for simple  solution will help you a lot.

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Categories: Windows 8
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