Desktop App User Interface

This section provides information that enables you to develop graphical user interfaces for your apps.

In this section


Getting Started Developing User Interfaces for Windows Applications

Provides general guidance to developers who are designing, implementing, and testing the user interface of a Windows application.

Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines

The "UX Guide" for short, these are the official Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines for Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Internationalization for Windows Applications

Describes the technologies that enable you to support the many cultures and written languages of the international marketplace in your Windows-based applications.


Describes accessibility features that make it easier for persons with disabilities to use computers.

User Interaction

Describes features that enable the user to interact with an application, through devices such as the keyboard, mouse, and touch screens.

Windows and Messages

Describes the elements of an application with a Windows-based graphical user interface.

Desktop Window Manager

Desktop Window Manager (DWM) enables visual effects on the desktop as well as various features such as glass window frames, 3-D window transition animations, Windows Flip and Windows Flip3D, and high resolution support.

Dialog Boxes

A dialog box is a temporary window an application creates to retrieve user input. An application typically uses dialog boxes to prompt the user for additional information for menu items. A dialog box usually contains one or more controls (child windows) with which the user enters text, chooses options, or directs the action.

Menus and Other Resources

A resource is binary data that you can add to the executable file of a Windows-based application. A resource can be either standard or defined. The data in a standard resource describes an icon, cursor, menu, dialog box, bitmap, enhanced metafile, font, accelerator table, message-table entry, string-table entry, or version information. An application-defined resource, also called a custom resource, contains any data required by a specific application.

Data Exchange

Describes basic methods of exchanging data, such as the clipboard and Dynamic Data Exchange.

High DPI

Writing a DPI-aware application is the key to making a UI look consistently good across a wide variety of high-DPI display settings. An application that is not DPI-aware but is running on a high-DPI display setting can suffer from many visual artifacts, including incorrect scaling of UI elements, clipped text, and blurry images. By adding support in your application for DPI awareness, you guarantee that the presentation of your application's UI is more predictable, making it more visually appealing to users.

Windows Animation Manager

The Windows Animation Manager (Windows Animation) enables rich animation of user interface elements. It is designed to simplify the process of adding animation to an application's user interface and to enable developers to implement animations that are smooth, natural, and interactive.

Windows Controls

A control is a child window that an application uses in conjunction with another window to enable user interaction. Controls provide the user a way to view and edit text, choose options, choose commands, initiate actions, and view status.

Windows Ribbon Framework

The Windows Ribbon framework is a rich command presentation system that provides a modern alternative to the layered menus, toolbars, and task panes of traditional Windows applications. The Ribbon framework is composed of a ribbon command bar that exposes the major features of an application through a series of tabs at the top of an application window, and a context menu system.

Tiles, badges, and notifications for Classic desktop applications

Describes how to respond to toast notifications that appear in the action center. These toasts can be used to simply activate your application, or they can be used to gather information from the user and alter the launch protocol based on that information.

Title Callable UI

Do not use. This API set is only supported for Xbox developers.


Related topics

Windows Environment Development