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Design apps for the Windows desktop

Learn how to design beautiful and functional desktop apps that work great with Windows.

Start screen tiles

Apps use tiles instead of icons. When a customer installs your app, it shows up as a tile on the Start screen. Touching or clicking the tile starts the app.

Mouse, keyboard—and now touch

With the influx of tablet users, it's more important than ever provide a great touch experience.

Visual and interactive guidance


Controls

Browse standard controls such as drop-down lists and search boxes.

Commands

Includes menus, toolbars and ribbons.

Text

UI text standards including voice and tone guidance.

Messages

Error messages, warnings, confirmations, and notifications.

Interaction

Keyboard, mouse and pointers, touch, pen and accessibility.

Visuals

Fonts, color, icons, animations, and much more.

Windows

Dialog boxes, wizards, and more.

Experiences

Make a good impression with branding, setup, first experience and printing standards.

Check out the visual index or download these guidelines in PDF format.

 

 

Explore more


Blend for Visual Studio

Build your UI with the design surface and tools in Blend for Visual Studio.

Create a great UI

Develop a UI and connect events, like user input, to create a compelling user experience.

Store apps

Find design guidelines for developing Windows Store and Windows Phone apps.

Create an MFC UI

Browse standard UI elements like ActiveX controls and dialog boxes.