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Guideline to choose between using the app bar or a context menu

    Question

  • I noticed that the Metro style favors using the app bar for contextual actions. And it fits fairly well with the touch experience. However, it is far less interesting with a mouse (since you have to move it to the app bar). For the mouse, a context menu is more natural and people are already used to that.

    So, the question is: When should we use them?

    By the way, in Metro Internet Explorer, when you touch-and-hold a link, you get context menu. So far, it is the only example I found that doesn't use the app bar.

     

    I also found this pre-Metro article on menus: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa511502.aspx#contextMenus

    Interestingly, the "task pane menu" shares a few similarities with the app bar; but it isn't really discussed in this article.


    Pierre Henri Kuate.
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 2:01 PM

Answers

  • Pierre,

    Here are some good guidelines: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh465302(v=VS.85).aspx

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Pierre,

    I have been using both touch and of course keyboard and mouse for a while....  I think if you conform to the guidelines to design for Touch First you will be OK.  For example, context menus are a pain in the dupa if you are on a slate device (I REALLY hate having to move my hands up and push and hold for that).  I do understand what a pain it may be for the mouse user to get a context menu from the app bar though.  The beauty is however, if you had both, then you would please the mouse user and touch user.

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 9:08 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Pierre,

    Here are some good guidelines: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh465302(v=VS.85).aspx

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the link, it is indeed an interesting read.

    Would you comment on the usage of context menus in Metro apps? The guidelines you linked only mention it to be used for copy/paste commands.

    And this is important when you consider mouse+keyboard users.


    Pierre Henri Kuate.
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 9:04 PM
  • Hi Pierre,

    I have been using both touch and of course keyboard and mouse for a while....  I think if you conform to the guidelines to design for Touch First you will be OK.  For example, context menus are a pain in the dupa if you are on a slate device (I REALLY hate having to move my hands up and push and hold for that).  I do understand what a pain it may be for the mouse user to get a context menu from the app bar though.  The beauty is however, if you had both, then you would please the mouse user and touch user.

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 9:08 PM
    Moderator
  • One last thing: Having both is not an option, is it?

    It would go against the guideline of providing the same experience for touch & mouse/keyboard.


    Pierre Henri Kuate.
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 9:37 PM
  • Hi Pierre,

    It would be the same experience, you would make both available regardless if you were in a touch or mouse system right?

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Friday, November 11, 2011 8:38 PM
    Moderator
  • I feel like it isn't the ideal design... I will think about it further.

    Thanks for the responses.


    Pierre Henri Kuate.
    Friday, November 11, 2011 9:47 PM