WebBrowser control design guidelines for Windows Phone

July 21, 2014

Applies to: Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1 | Windows Phone OS 7.1

A WebBrowser control embeds a web view in your app.

UX_WebBrowser

WebBrowser control

This topic contains the following sections.

A WebBrowser control looks and behaves like Internet Explorer. Hyperlinks can also appear and function in a WebBrowser control.

You can embed a WebBrowser control for a number of reasons, as described at WebBrowser control for Windows Phone 8.

Use a WebBrowser control to display richly formatted HTML content from either a remote web server or locally generated code. You can also store content in your app's isolated storage area and display content from there. Rich content can also contain script code and communicate between the script and your app's managed code layer.

NoteNote:

If possible, avoid using WebBrowser controls.; they can confuse users because they can’t be manipulated with multi-touch gestures.

Most websites aren’t well optimized for mobile browsers, which is why Internet Explorer Mobile ships with the pinch-and-zoom gesture. However, users don’t expect this gesture to be active while viewing text inside native apps, since native apps don’t use pinch and zoom for navigational purposes. If a WebBrowser control loads in a non optimal way, users won’t be able to zoom in or out for a better view, and this causes frustration.

If you decide to use a WebBrowser control:

  • Make the text size the minimum required for Windows Phone: 15 points.

  • Make sure the website loaded inside your WebBrowser control is formatted correctly for a mobile device, and uses colors, typography, and navigation that are consistent with the rest of your app. For more info, see Web development for Windows Phone 8.

  • Input fields should be sized appropriately, since users may not expect that they can zoom in to enter text.

  • If a WebBrowser control view doesn’t look like the rest of your app, consider alternative controls or ways to accomplish relevant tasks. Poorly tailored WebBrowser controls can give users the sensation that they’ve just jumped into a different app, which creates confusion.

When you’re developing an app that uses the WebBrowser control, consider the best practices and info regarding security at WebBrowser control security best practices for Windows Phone 8.

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