I enjoy working with WP- and Win8 projects. New cool hardware, new application architectures, new tools and no more battleship-grey experiences! The developer scene has changed, especially at the frontend. I have collected some useful design resources for developers in this post.
As a developer, we are not always blessed with a dedicated designer in our projects, especially not in our hobby projects at home where we often create everything from icons to database. Most of us are quite good at writing code but might lack some skills when it comes to color matching and/or user interface design.
I am in the progress of creating a new Windows Phone app and enjoy working with Blend. I know and use a bunch of written and unwritten UI rules to create a decent app experience but I have a problem with colors. I find it difficult to find out what colors match to create a great app palette.
Here are some links for color matching and other design related topics I found when browsing the web for tools and information to create a better visual user experience in my app.
It’s all about colors and generic design
Color Scheme Designer
I like how your schemes can be previewed applied on a website design.
My major tool to find and experiment with palettes
COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles… All in the spirit of love.
The application allows users to experiment with color combinations, examine them under the aspect of accessibility guidelines and to create custom color palettes.
More color related web tools:
Picture to color palette tools
Name that color – I have started to name the brushes with a real name instead of “blueish3brush”. This tool helps finding out what name to use.
Windows 8 and Windows Phone design
- Microsoft – Designing UX for apps
- Punchout.com – Designing the Metro Experience
- Windows 8 UX Guidelines for Windows Store apps
- Design inspiration (Windows Store apps) (Windows)
- MSDN Windows 8 Design Templates
Microsoft – dev.windowsphone – “let’s get to it! Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned app developer, this site has the basic principles and concepts you need to design great Windows Phone apps.”
- Microsoft – User Experience Design Guidelines for Windows Phone
- 24 Weeks of Windows Phone Design PDF – by Arturo Toledo.
- Windows Phone 7 Theme-Resources Cheat-Sheet
Metro examples (Windows 8 UI Style apps)
- Metro Icons – WP7 icon package
- Metro Studio 2 – Syncfusion Metro Studio is a collection of over 1700 Metro-style icon templates that can be easily customized to create thousands of unique Metro Icons
- Icons8.com – Win8 icon site
- Windows 8 Metro Icons – by dAKirby309
- 234 Unique Metro Style Icons
- MetroStation Icons Pack
- WinRT Icons
- WP7 Mobile Icons
- Xamalot.com – Including xaml versions of the Icons
- Modern UI Icons
- Windows Phone 7 Icons – cecpage.com
- Included Icons
- Öredev 2012 Session – Building Highly Successful Windows Phone Apps: a Recipe for Repeated Success – Gergely Orosz, one of the developer behind the apps Cocktail Flow, AppFlow and Weather Flow.
- Designing Metro style: principles and personality – Build 2011
- Tips on self-evaluating the UX of your app – Build 2012
- Graphics at the core of Windows 8 and your app – Build 2012
- Designing awesome XAML apps in Visual Studio and Blend for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 – Build 2012
- Channel 9 – Find loads of videos here including the Build 2012 recordings.
- .Toolbox – Have some interesting design principles videos in their first lessons
- Jayway – The UX team write great design posts here.
- Microsoft UX chit chat
- The Microsoft Expression Blend Team Blog
The release of Windows 8 will create a market big enough for new web sites similar to Theme Forest where designers can show, share and sell complete design templates for Win 8 and WP apps. Our platform needs to attract more designers and increase the visual quality of the apps, this can be a great step in the right direction.