Windows Dev Center

Guidelines for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps

Use this index of guidelines to help you design a great Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app. If you haven't already, start by reading What's a UWP app?

(Looking for Windows 8.1 design guidance? It's available as a PDF: Download the Windows 8.1 design guidelines PDF.)

In this article


Purposeful, well-designed animations bring apps to life and make the experience feel crafted and polished. Tie experiences together and help users understand context changes by using visual transitions.


App settings and data

Display settings

App settings are the user-customizable portions of your UWP app. For example, a news reader app might let the user specify which news sources to display or how many columns to display on the screen.


Controls and patterns

Contacts list

Design your app's UI to showcase its content. Minimize distraction and help immerse users in the content by leaving only the most relevant elements on screen. Following these guidelines will help you provide a consistent, elegant, and compelling user experience.


Custom user interactions

Interacting with tablet and keyboard

Design interactions that keep the user in control, and make use of the screen or device edge to help users find commands with confidence.


Files, data, and connectivity

File picker Access folders, files, and data from you app. To allow users to access data from an account or in cloud services like Microsoft OneDrive, you can provide them with a signed-in experience. Include app-data roaming in your app to give a seamless experience across devices.


Globalization and localization

bi-directional UI on a tile

Windows is used worldwide, so design your app with that in mind. Separate resources like strings and images from their code to help make localization easy.


Help and instructions

Help in a phone calling app

Provide help or troubleshooting tips to your users, and teach them to interact effectively with your app.


Identity and security

Multiple account sign-in image

Provide a signed-in experience and allow users to access data from an account or in cloud services like OneDrive.


Launch, suspend, and resume

Splash screen for People app

Create an inviting launch experience with a customized splash screen. Design your app to suspend when the user switches away from it and resume when the user switches back to it.


Layout and scaling

grid layout of an app

Design your app's layout to promote easy navigation, and choose the best place for all your UI elements. Create great app experiences for every form factor and every viewing option your users have.


Maps and location

Maps image

Use geolocation features to provide maps, directions, and information about nearby places of interest.


Text and input

Text and input

The proper use of font sizes, weights, colors, tracking, spacing, and text-box controls can help give your UWP app a clean, uncluttered look that makes it easier to use.


Tiles and notifications

Tiles on phone

A tile is the front door into an app. Sitting on the Start screen, it's an extension of the app and can provide much more personal and engaging info than a traditional icon. Invest in designing a great tile to draw people into your app. Provide fresh content through live tiles and notifications to help people feel connected to your app.




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