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Proper way to use settings

    Question

  • Hi,

    I was wondering what the guidance was on using settings for a metro app.  My understanding is that we are suppose to hook into the settings charm and display a settings window that is contextual to the page displayed in the app.

    My concern is I am developing an app with several types of pages and I anticipate the user changing settings frequently.  Now in order for them to see the settings pane, they have to first display the charms, 2nd they must click on settings, and 3rd they must click on preferences, then the pane will slide out.  I like the functionality of the slide out(that it is above the page and doesn't disturb layout) and the ability to have different panes for different pages, but I am concerned that it is kind of a lot of work for something done frequently.  It is more pronounced with a mouse where you must traverse the whole screen from bottom left to right side vs swiping from right with finger.

    Perhaps in my case it would be better to use the built in settings more for app wide settings that are not changed much, and have my own button on screen or in the app bar that would display the settings for the current page.

    Just wondering if there were any thoughts on this.  I appreciate any input.

    Thanks

    Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:33 AM

Answers

  • My thoughts:

    I think of settings as something you set to configure the application in a way you want it to behave, and then leave it alone!  If the user is going to be frequently changing something in your application, it sounds more like a workflow issue.  If the normal user of your application will be frequently changing things, then perhaps work out this with a workflow diagram and incorporate this into the normal operation of your application.  If this thing they are changing is done more often then not, you really need to consider what you are asking the user to do and why they are doing it.  I think I would be quite annoyed to be hitting a button to change something and then return back to the page (no matter what the mechanism is).  What about just making it part of the natural flow of the task?

    Others?  What do you think?

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    • Marked as answer by RBear2 Friday, October 21, 2011 1:53 AM
    Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:40 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • My thoughts:

    I think of settings as something you set to configure the application in a way you want it to behave, and then leave it alone!  If the user is going to be frequently changing something in your application, it sounds more like a workflow issue.  If the normal user of your application will be frequently changing things, then perhaps work out this with a workflow diagram and incorporate this into the normal operation of your application.  If this thing they are changing is done more often then not, you really need to consider what you are asking the user to do and why they are doing it.  I think I would be quite annoyed to be hitting a button to change something and then return back to the page (no matter what the mechanism is).  What about just making it part of the natural flow of the task?

    Others?  What do you think?

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    • Marked as answer by RBear2 Friday, October 21, 2011 1:53 AM
    Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:40 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm inclined to agree with Jeff, settings are things that configure certain key behaviours that you always want a certain way. If you're changing something pretty much every time you use the app, it's less of a setting and more suited to being a control that naturally fits into the workflow of the task at hand.
    Friday, October 21, 2011 1:00 AM
  • Thanks for the feedback.

    I guess I was just wondering if there was some official 'proper' way to do it.  Since there are so few apps at the moment to compare and look at, I didn't know what might be the best way.  I think for my case, after looking at the samples a bit more, the PaintPlay app is probably the best way to go, with an appbar type control at the bottom that allows for easy access to frequent settings, or perhaps a larger independent slide out on the right for a property pane type display. 

    Friday, October 21, 2011 1:52 AM