This tutorial demonstrates how to test Metro apps using the Visual Studio Express 2012 RC for Windows 8 Simulator. Watch more at: Building Your First Windows Store App with XAML and Visual Basic.
This specific tutorial is just a single movie from chapter one of the Windows 8 Metro App Development First Look course presented by lynda.com author David Gassner. The complete Windows 8 Metro App Development First Look course has a total duration of 3 hours and 2 minutes and shows developers how to get started building Metro style application for Windows 8
Windows 8 Metro App Development First Look table of contents:
1. Getting Started
2. Creating Metro Apps with XAML
3. Creating Metro Apps with HTML
4. Integrating Apps with Windows 8 Features
5. Preparing an App for Deployment
Metro (design language)Metro is an internal code name of a typography-based design language created by Microsoft, originally for use in Windows Phone. A key design principle of Metro is better focus on the content of applications, relying more on typography and less on graphics (“content before chrome”). Early uses of the Metro principles began as early as Microsoft Encarta 95 and MSN 2.0, and later evolved into Windows Media Center and Zune. Later the principles of Metro were included in Windows Phone, Microsoft’s website, the Xbox 360 dashboard update, and Windows 8.
Microsoft itself has stopped using the term “Metro” to refer to this design language. For a brief period of time, it used “Modern UI” before gradually adopting “Microsoft design language”.
Microsoft’s design team cites as an inspiration for the design language signs commonly found at public transport systems; for instance, those found on the King County Metro transit system, which serves the greater Seattle area where Microsoft has its headquarters. The design language places emphasis on good typography and has large text that catches the eye. Microsoft sees the design language as “sleek, quick, modern” and a “refresh” from the icon-based interfaces of Windows, Android, and iOS. All instances use fonts based on the Segoe font-family designed by Steve Matteson at Agfa Monotype and licensed to Microsoft. For the Zune, Microsoft created a custom version called Zegoe UI, and for Windows Phone Microsoft created the “Segoe WP” font-family. The fonts mostly differ only in minor details. More obvious differences between Segoe UI and Segoe WP are apparent in their respective numerical characters. The Segoe UI in Windows 8 had obvious differences – similar to Segoe WP. Characters with notable typographic changes included 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, I, and Q.
Microsoft designed the design language specifically to consolidate groups of common tasks to speed up usage. It achieves this by excluding superfluous graphics and instead relying on the actual content to function as the main UI. The resulting interfaces favour larger hubs over smaller buttons and often feature laterally scrolling canvases. Page titles are usually large and consequently also take advantage of lateral scrolling.
Animation plays a large part. Microsoft recommends consistent acknowledgement of transitions, and user interactions (such as presses or swipes) by some form of natural animation or motion. This aims to give the user the impression of an “alive” and responsive UI with “an added sense of depth.”
Internally, Microsoft has compiled a list of principles considered core to the design language.
Close to the official launch date of Windows 8 (October 26, 2012), as more developers and Microsoft partners started working on creating new Metro applications, many websites with resources related to this topic have been created, including Microsoft’s UX guidelines for Windows Store Apps.
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