Responding to user interaction (Windows Store apps using C#/VB/C++ and XAML)
Learn about the user interaction platform, the input sources (including touch, touchpad, mouse, pen/stylus, and keyboard), modes (touch keyboard, mouse wheel, pen eraser, and so on), and user interactions supported by Windows Store apps and Windows 8.
Roadmap: See how this topic relates to others.
- Roadmap for Windows Store apps using C# or Visual Basic
- Roadmap for Windows Store apps using C++
- User interaction: Touch input... and beyond, highlighted in our App features, start to finish series
Using guidelines, best practices, and examples, we show you how to take full advantage of the interaction capabilities of Windows 8 to build Windows Store apps with intuitive, engaging, and immersive user experiences.
- Gestures, manipulations, and interactions
- Keyboard interactions
- Mouse interactions
- Pen and stylus interactions
- Responding to touchpad input
- How users interact with input devices
- Quickstart: Pointers
- Quickstart: Touch input
- Quickstart: Identifying pointer devices
We assume you are familiar with XAML and C#, Visual Basic, or C++.
See these user interaction docs for other language frameworks:
- Responding to user interaction (DirectX and C++)
Design your Windows 8 apps with touch interactions in mind: Touch input is supported by an increasingly large and varied number of devices, and touch interactions are a fundamental aspect of the Windows 8 experience.
Because touch is a primary mode of interaction for users of Windows 8, it's optimized for touch input to make it responsive, accurate, and easy to use. Rest assured, tried and true input modes (such as mouse, pen, and keyboard) are fully supported and functionally consistent with touch (see Gestures, manipulations, and interactions). The speed, accuracy, and tactile feedback that traditional input modes provide are familiar and appealing to many users. These unique and distinctive interaction experiences have not been compromised.
Incorporating touch interactions into the design of your apps can greatly enhance the user experience. Be creative with the design of this experience, support the widest range of capabilities and preferences, appeal to the widest possible audience, and attract more customers to your app in the Windows Store.
The user interaction platform for Windows Store apps is based on layers of functionality that progressively add flexibility and power:
Take advantage of the built-in controls provided through the language frameworks to provide a full platform user interaction experience. This functionality works well for the majority of Windows Store apps.
The built-in controls are designed from the ground up to be touch-optimized while providing consistent and engaging interaction experiences across all input modes. They support a comprehensive set of Windows 8 gestures (press and hold, tap, slide, swipe, pinch, stretch, turn) that, coupled with direct manipulations (pan, zoom, rotate, drag) and realistic inertia behavior, enable a compelling and immersive interaction experience that follows Windows 8 best practices consistently across the Windows platform.
For more info on the control libraries, see Adding controls and content (Windows Store apps using C#/VB/C++ and XAML) .
Tweak the user interaction experience through the pan/scroll and zoom settings of your app views. An app view dictates how a user accesses and manipulates your app and its content. Views also provide Windows Store app behaviors such as inertia, content boundary bounce, and snap points.
Pan/scroll settings dictate how users navigate within a single view (such as a page of a magazine or book, the folder structure of a computer, a library of documents, or a photo album) when the content of the view doesn't fit within the viewport.
Zoom settings apply to both optical zoom and the SemanticZoom control. Semantic Zoom is a touch-optimized technique for presenting and navigating large sets of related data or content within a single view using two distinct modes of classification (or zoom levels). This functionality is analogous to panning and scrolling (which can be used in conjunction with Semantic Zoom) within a single view.
Using app views to modify the pan/scroll and zoom behaviors can provide a smoother interaction experience than is possible through the handling of pointer and gesture events as described later.
For more info on app views, see Defining layouts and views.
For more info on panning/scrolling, see Guidelines for panning.
A pointer is a generic input type with a unified event mechanism that exposes basic info (such as screen position) on the active input source (touch, touchpad, mouse, or pen). Gestures range from simple, static interactions like tapping to more complicated manipulations like zooming, panning, and rotating. For more details, see Gestures, manipulations, and interactions.
Static gesture events are triggered after an interaction is complete. Manipulation gesture events indicate an ongoing interaction. Manipulation gesture events start firing when the user touches the element and continue until the user lifts the finger or the manipulation is canceled.
Access to the pointer and gesture events enables you to use the Windows 8 Touch interaction design language for games, custom controls and feedback visuals, extending the Windows 8 gestures, processing raw input data, and other custom interactions.
For more info on handling pointer and gesture events, see Quickstart: Handling pointer input.
To customize and control your app's interaction experience even more, use the Windows Runtime platform APIs. For example, you might want to handle additional configuration options and hardware capabilities such as mouse devices with a right button, wheel button, tilt wheel, or X buttons and pen devices with barrel buttons and eraser tips.
Most interaction APIs are in the Windows.UI.Xaml and Windows.UI.Xaml.Input namespaces, with ink functionality exposed through Windows.UI.Input.Inking and input device data exposed through the Windows.Devices.Input.
Before providing customized interaction experiences through new or modified gestures and manipulations, consider the following:
- Does an existing gesture provide the experience your app requires. Don't provide a custom gesture to zoom or pan when you can simply adapt your app to support or interpret an existing gesture.
- Does the custom gesture warrant the potential inconsistency across apps.
- Does the gesture require specific hardware support, such as number of contacts.
- Is there a control (such as ScrollViewer) that provides the interaction experience you need. If a control can intrinsically handle user input, is a custom gesture or manipulation required at all.
- Does your custom gesture or manipulation result in a smooth and natural interaction experience.
- Does the interaction experience make sense. If the interaction depends on such things as the number of contacts, velocity, time (not recommended), and inertia, ensure that these constraints and dependencies are consistent and discoverable. For example, how users interpret fast and slow can directly affect the functionality of your app and the users satisfaction with the experience.
- Is the gesture or manipulation affected by the physical abilities of your user. Is it accessible.
- Will an app bar command or some other UI command suffice.
In short, create custom gestures and manipulations only if there is a clear, well-defined requirement and no basic gesture can support your scenario.
- Developing Windows Store apps (VB/C#/C++ and XAML)
- Touch interaction design
- Samples (Windows API)
- Input: Device capabilities sample
- Input: Ink sample
- Samples (DOM)
- Input: DOM pointer event handling sample
- Input: Instantiable gestures sample
- Samples (XAML)
- Input: XAML user input events sample
- Input: Pan/scroll and zoom sample
- XAML scrolling, panning, and zooming sample
- Input sample
- Samples (DirectX)
- Input: manipulations and gestures using C++ sample
- Input: Touch hit testing sample
- Input: Simplified ink sample
Build date: 11/16/2013