Windows Dev Center

Input and feedback patterns

When you design your Windows Store app for touch interactions, you get support for touchpad, mouse, pen, and keyboard interactions for free. Your users can switch from one input method to another and not miss a beat of the app experience. Plug a keyboard into a tablet? No problem. Your app responds consistently and predictably to your users' choices.

Design the UI of your Windows Store app for touch but consider the design implications for a variety of devices:

  • Touchpad, which combines touch and mouse experiences
  • Mouse
  • Pen, specialized for digital ink
  • Keyboard devices


user with touch tablet

Windows provides a concise set of touch interactions that are used throughout the system. Applying this touch language consistently makes your app feel familiar to what users already know. This increases user confidence by making your app easier to learn and use.




A touchpad combines indirect multi-touch input with the precision input of a pointing device, such as a mouse. This combination makes the touchpad suited to both the touch-optimized UI and the smaller targets of productivity apps and the desktop environment. Optimize your Windows Store app design for touch input and get touchpad support by default.




Mouse input is best suited for user interactions that require precision when pointing and clicking. This inherent precision is naturally supported by the UI of Windows. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are optimized for the imprecise nature of touch. Optimize your Windows Store app design for touch input and get basic mouse support by default.




A pen can serve as a precision pointing device. It can also be a drawing device associated with digital ink.

The Windows 8.1 ink platform, together with a pen device, provides a natural way to create handwritten notes, drawings, and annotations. The platform supports capturing ink data from digitizer input, generating ink data, rendering that data as ink strokes on the output device, managing the ink data, and performing handwriting recognition.




Keyboard interactions can make your app more usable and is important for accessibility and to enable functionality when a touch screen isn't present. Additionally, keyboard support can make your app more usable for frequent keyboard users. Users should be able to navigate your app by using Tab and arrow keys, activate UI elements by using the spacebar and Enter, and access commands by using keyboard shortcuts.


Enhance the user experience

Be creative when you follow the UX guidelines for user interactions. Choose which input devices your app supports and how your app responds to input. Enhance the user experience across devices, support the broadest range of capabilities and preferences, and appeal to the largest potential audience. This makes your app as usable, portable, and accessible as possible.

Related topics

Responding to user interaction
Responding to touchpad interactions
Responding to mouse interactions
Responding to pen interactions
Responding to keyboard interactions
Guidelines for targeting (Windows Store apps)
Guidelines for touch keyboard and handwriting panel (Windows Store apps)



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