Firstly, a massive congratulations to everyone who entered both the preliminary concept rounds and the final application round of the Windows Phone 7 LG App Starter Competition. The submissions were all of a very high standard and it is fantastic to see so many applications making use of both device features and the Windows Phone 7 metro interface design and controls.
I’ve already sent out books to the winners for the concept rounds, as some of these concepts aren’t available in the Marketplace yet I won’t publish the details of those ideas/apps. If you were one of the winners and want to be recognised, please feel free to comment on this post and provide a link to your application in the Marketplace.
I love the awesome graphics in this application. Every thing from the start tile (which uses transparency to take advantage of the user selected accent colour) to the background image of the panorama, has been well designed. Some might find the over-the-top use of colours offensive but I think it makes this app eye catching. The additional use of animations and transitions makes for great user experience.
Ok, so if you didn’t win, here are a few pointers:
– Speed Matters: Everything from the load time of the application through to how your application responds when the user clicks on an element needs to be tweaked for performance. It’s really easy to build an application that is laggy or doesn’t respond to the user. Make use of background threads for processing and work with the performance metrics to get an idea of how your application will perform.
– Tombstoning: PLEASE READ THIS POST (Windows Phone 7- Tombstone Frustration), and if tombstoning still doesn’t make sense, feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to go through this feature with you to ensure it’s done correctly.
– Consistency: Read and re-read all of the information about the Metro user experience introduced with Windows Phone 7. Think about how these concepts can be applied to your application. Space things out, use consistent colours and fonts, and make use of the standard or toolkit controls.
– Workflow: Put yourself in the position of the user and walk through how the application is going to be used. Firstly, as a brand new user and then as a seasoned user. These two scenarios are key to retaining users.