How You Can Use a Template to Design a Fantastic Windows 8 App

Designing your own app can be an incredibly stressful process.


Even when you have a brilliant idea in mind and all your market research suggests that your app will blow all of your competitors out of the water, it can be terribly difficult to execute. A lot of that is down to the actual design of the app as without planning meticulously and noting down exactly what you want your app to do, actually building the software (or getting a team to do it for you) is going to be a big task.


But, it really doesn’t have to be.


Whether you’re looking to bring your Windows app to mobile devices or have users download it to their desktops, the templates from will help you create a wonderfully looking app mock-up.


1. Layout


While the Metro theme of Windows 8 has brought easily organisable tiles to users of Microsoft’s operating system on mobile and desktop, this can be a bit of a headache for app designers.


For example, how do you know if your app’s logo or cover image is going to fit all sorts of tile sizes? Does the logo look as good as a rectangle as it does a square?


An ugly app is an unwelcome one, especially when your users will see it every time they fire up their Windows phones and desktops. Thankfully,
Windows8Templates lets you easily customise and adjust the size of your app mock-up to ensure that it looks just right.




2. Colour Schemes


Furthermore, the templates can also help you to decide on a color scheme.


While your favorite color might be burgundy and this is how you’d imagined the app, does it actually work with the design of this app? Would a soft blue or bright red be better?


Alternatively, you may even have dozens upon dozens of color combos in your mind. Previously it would have taken painstakingly long to try them all out but with these templates the huge color palette is a click away so you can test out your proposed color schemes and figure out which one you like best.



3. Content of the App


Not only this but
Windows8Templates let you add content to your app mock-up. This is could be anything from the body of text in your app (particularly good if your app is data or information heavy) or more images to illustrate your point to users.


This part of the app design process is especially key as this is the very reason that users would download your app in the first place. Here you can test fonts, font sizes and the colour of the lettering too.



4. Clickable Prototypes


Once you’ve got your colors picked out, your layout has been decided upon and you have a good idea about your content, it’s important to think about how users will interact with your app.


For non-technical types it can be difficult to plan this – without coding knowledge how will you test which features users can click on and such?


Handy then that the mock-ups you create in PowerPoint with
Windows8Templates can easily be made clickable. Using action buttons you make items move on the page or even move to a new slide in the PowerPoint. These can help you figure out which features users will click on and what it could look like when they open a new window in the app.


Not only this, but making your prototype clickable can make it seem like a functional prototype which will only further impress those who you show your prototype to. It is even better if you can demo your prototype right on a Windows 8 touch device.



5. Visual Studio Integration with “Storyboard Shapes”


For the more technically savvy, PowerPoint’s ‘Storyboarding’ integration with Visual Studio can also be used to illustrate your point. Using the included Storyboard Shapes available in the Windows8Templates Pro Bundle, you can easily facilitate the handoff of you design and requirements to the development team.


Read more about Storyboarding User Stories or Requirements Using PowerPoint on MSDN.




6. Professional Uses


What the templates are also brilliant for is the way that they can aid your professional life.


Windows8Templates works in PowerPoint you’ll be able to put together an entire presentation centering your app mock-up. With slides to show examples to clients, bosses and whoever else who needs to see your app proposal, there will be no room left for confusion.


Just your app mock-up, your design choices and an early look at what your app could be. Simple.'

Jordan Gurrieri

Jordan Gurrieri is the founder of Blue Label Labs, a mobile app design and development agency based in New York and Seattle, and IdeaToAppster, an online resource for news, articles and tips for mobile app design and development.

Read more:
How to create your first Windows Phone app
How to change the App name and Tile name of your Windows phone app
Data binding in Windows Phone app – One way binding