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4 Interface Text Guidelines

Surface 1.0 SP1

Microsoft Surface offers an opportunity to create user experiences that surpass what people expect from most human-computer interaction. Specifically, the multitouch, multiuser interactions at the core of Surface applications set them apart from traditional software. The Surface experience should be immersive, enchanting, natural, and intuitive; users can see the screen come to life under their fingers and they “know” what to do.

From this perspective, Surface applications should require little user interface (UI) text. But your adherence to any guideline should be secondary to creating a compelling and engaging Surface application. For example, a commercial application that describes different cellular telephone plans or shows tourists the points of interest in a city will have to use a lot of text. On the other hand, entertainment applications, such as the Microsoft Surface Photos application, require only a minimal amount of text.

The first topic in this section describes the basic principles behind the use of text and textual elements in Surface applications. The second topic provides specific guidelines for language and tone. And the third topic provides guidelines for using text in specific user interface components, such as buttons and information messages.

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