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Windows Dev Center

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


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


Includes menus, toolbars and ribbons.


UI text standards including voice and tone guidance.


Error messages, warnings, confirmations, and notifications.


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


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


Dialog boxes, wizards, and more.


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.