Summary of Usability Guidelines

This topic summarizes the guidelines that are discussed in these user experience guidelines for mobile PCs.

Power management and networking

Implement good power-management behavior to extend the run time of the mobile PC while it's running on batteries. See Power and Device Awareness.

  • Design your application to work even if network connectivity is interrupted. Ensure that interruptions won't cause your application to fail or cause distracting error messages. See Responding to Changing Network Conditions.
  • Take advantage of high-speed network connections when they are available, and consider caching online data so the user can be productive while a network resource is unavailable. See Cache Critical Data.

Display awareness

  • Design for mobile PC displays, which can be smaller in size than desktop screens, and ensure that your application looks and works well in both portrait and landscape mode. Make it easy to filter and customize information for readability both on small and large displays. See Designing for Varying Display Sizes.
  • Many mobile PC users connect external displays, including projectors. Don't assume that your application is being operated on the primary display. See Supporting Multiple-Display Environments.
  • Test your application on high-DPI settings, such as 120 DPI, to ensure that buttons and other user interface elements are visible and functional. See Pixel Density and Usability.

Windows SideShow gadgets

  • Design your gadget to accommodate the wide variety of Windows SideShow-compatible devices that are available to users. The display size and the controls will vary for devices. See The Gadget Environment.

Ensure that your gadget's navigation structure is predictable, intuitive, and uses the expected button behaviors. Elevate the most important information by including it in the glance content. Don't bury critical behaviors in context menus. See Designing the User Experience for the Gadget.

  • Understand gadget installation and how users turn on your gadget for their device. Use Gadget Manager, a utility to ensure that your gadget is running when it's turned on for a device. See Working with a Gadget.

Write new data to the cache as soon as it is available so users can access the information when the computer is off. Ensure that the last updated time is shown for time-sensitive information. See Sending Data.

Support pen and touch input

  • Size your controls and forms appropriately for pen and touch input, and use appropriate spacing to reduce error rates and hand fatigue. Take advantage of common controls, which include enhancements for pen and touch users. See Supporting Pen and Touch Input.
  • Look for ways to reduce cross-screen movements, such as providing context menus and one-tap access to functions that are commonly used in mobile environments, such as meetings. See Designing for Direct Manipulation.
  • Support users' ability to pan, scroll, page up and page down, zoom, and perform other commands by using a keyboard, hardware buttons, and gestures. See Command Input on the Tablet PC.
  • Support note-taking and drawing. See Integrating Ink.
  • For your text entry scenarios, implement AutoComplete, input scopes, and word lists, and other features that make it easier for pen users to accurately enter text by using the tablet pen. See Text Input Using the Pen.



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Build date: 2/8/2011

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