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FreshPaint app and Windows UX Guidelines

    General discussion

  • I was looking at the FreshPaint Windows Store app today. I have noticed an action button called NEW on the left of the app start screen and a button for Gallery settings in the app bar. These two completely violate the Windows UX Guidelines. As per the guidelines, the Settings should go the settings charm and the button to add should go to the app bar.

    Any thoughts on this why FreshPaint has to do this?

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:49 PM

All replies

  • I don't see how these completely violate the Windows UX Guidelines.

    The Gallery settings button is relevant to the gallery and fits with the general principle from the App settings guidelines:

    If necessary, link from elements of your app's UI to the Settings pane or deep-link to a specific Settings flyout. For example, you can link to your help Settings flyout from a "Help" button in the bottom app bar as well as from a  "Help" entry point in the Settings pane.

    Selecting the painting to start on is the main function of the gallery, and choosing a new painting is likely to be a common choice. The New buttons aren't unnecessary chrome but are part of the main goal of the page. I find it more disturbing that they aren't available in portrait mode. That seems to be a bug to me.

    Remember that the guidelines are guidelines and not hard and fast rules. They will lead towards well designed apps, but they don't cover all scenarios. If your app has a good reason to do something differently then it should, but this should be done deliberately and with thought to the overall effect.

    This is the same as with any artistic endeavor: the "rules" apply generally, but by understanding the reasons behind the rules an artist may find ways to achieve the overall effect through different means.

    --Rob

    Friday, February 21, 2014 4:31 AM
    Owner
  • Thanks Rob for the feedback.

    The app can use a flat navigation with the new button at the top bar rather than at the left for the scenario to create a new painting. A lot of elements on the start screen is a noise in my observation.

    A couple of other things that I noticed which don't follow the UX design guidelines:

    1. This is about the Import file command button. This has been added to the top bar while saving the drawing to the bottom bar. The designer may be trying to separate the input and out operations two areas of the screen to logically separate it. I think the command operations should go the bottom.

    2. Landing on a page where a new drawing can be made, I see that the top and bottom bar are shown as default. This is a visual clue that there are commands the user can use from the top and bottom command bars. A lot of Windows 8.1 users don't like the user experience of seeing the content but don't know what to do on it. Showing the commands that can be operated on the content by default may improve the UX. I don't know why the MS Evangelists like Chris Mayo does not recommend it.

    3. The impression of overlaid command buttons is distracting. After swiping the top and bottom bars away from the drawing surface, you will see a set of buttons (like undo) at the bottom. It can be moved around, so it is more like a context based. After swiping and top and bottom bars in, this context based bar repositions beneath the bottom bar.


    Friday, February 21, 2014 1:12 PM