Windows Phone Design Day – Europe Tour Fall 2011

We have exciting news for our friends in Europe and South Africa. Corrina Black and I will be visiting you in your country so we can spend a day together talking about Windows Phone design. Microsoft has hosted multiple events focused on development (engineering) of Windows Phone apps since and before we first released Windows Phone. These events will continue and are in fact going on as we speak. If you are interested in learning more about Windows Phone development visit AppHub to learn more about opportunities in your city.

Now, if what you want is to learn more about Design and UX then join us at one of the Windows Phone Design Days.

Durban (10.17-19), Lisboa (10.24), Barcelona (10.25), Antwerp (Brussels) (11.3), Paris (11.8), Dublin (11.9), Helsinki (11.15), Stockholm (11.18), Germany (11.22 – Cologne)

If you have any questions just ping me in my Twitter account. Also, follow the Windows Phone Design team for tour updates as well as team updates, news, inspiration. Finally, here is a Twitter list of everyone you should follow when it comes to Windows Phone design/UX – most of these folks are designers or PMs in the Windows Phone design studio.

This event is for both developers and designers because both profiles participate in creating Windows Phone apps. Many developers have published their own app(s) on the Marketplace already (way to go!) – but now it’s time to learn some practical ways to enhance the design and UX of your app. This will make your apps more popular in the marketplace and help you generate a more loyal crowd that loves your app. This one day design event will give developers and designers practical tips and tricks, methods and techniques to boost the quality of your Windows Phone apps. We will talk about how to leverage the best of Windows Phone and the Mango release.

For a bit more than a year, Microsoft has talked about Metro many times – mainly in the context of Windows Phone and lately expanded this conversation to the next release of Windows, Windows 8. Most of the conversation we’ve had with you about Metro for Windows Phone has been mostly about the “Why” – We just released the Mango updated for Windows Phone, we have 30,000+ apps (and growing) and with more momentum than ever, it is time to switch gears and start talking about the “How”. How do we use a grid to compose our UI the same way senior/pro designers do here in Studio H in Redmond? – how to design icons for your app that look Metro and that communicate your features correctly? – how to properly incorporate your branding into your application and differentiate yourself from others?

The Metro design style in Windows Phone has a set of principles. If you learn these principles you can produce great experiences using out-of-the-box and Silverlight toolkit controls and other UI mechanisms. But, if you learn these principles you can take things further. We will also show you how to do this. For example, a lot of people think Metro apps need to have black background – wrong! (although most samples we’ve shown you indeed use black background) – Metro apps can totally take in your brand and differentiate it from other competing apps. Metro apps in Windows can go beyond pivot and panorama and we’ll show you ways to get there.

We begin with a METRO session that is tailored at developers – practical and concise. We’ll learn the Metro principles and how these come from universal principles from the International Typographic Design Style (or Swiss Style) – a design style that has no expiration date – it is timeless. We will then jump into a session called THINK. Before jumping straight to code – let’s think about opportunities and scenarios to help our users. Don’t just choose to create an app because ‘there’s a web service or RSS feed available’ – instead, think of the app from the user’s perspective. It is a process called Ideation. It involves brainstorming techniques, exploration techniques and consolidation techniques. We will show you all these, from hand sketching (yes! bring your sketchbook) to wireframing, storyboarding and paper prototyping!. After we have defined what we want – then we DESIGN it. In this session we will design end-to-end a Windows Phone app using out-of-the-box Metro controls and navigation metaphors. We’ll learn more about grids, alignment, typography, how to choose colors and create panorama and pivot backgrounds. When custom interaction is needed in your app and no out-of-the-box Metro components can directly solve this need, we’ll show you techniques to push Metro forward and design your own UI controls. After DESIGN comes REFINE. In this session we will give a large number of valuable and practical ways to ensure quality in your app – best practices, performance improvements and more ways to take your app to the next level. Corrina will share some of her own experience in producing Windows Phone apps that can be more successful once published to the Marketplace. In the BUILD session we will take all we’ve learned and build a prototype of our app in Expression Blend. We will learn more about importing assets into Blend, adding animation, using controlsm databinding, behaviors and other advanced tricks that only Corrina could teach us 🙂 – Using a Metro app for Windows Phone Corrina will also how us how we can innovate on top of what Metro offers out-of-the-box.

There is basically no coding in the Windows Phone Design Day – but bring your PC and follow along – bring your sketchbook (or notepad) and sketch along!

Here is the agenda for the day (although note that each event might vary a bit depending on allocated sessions and in some cases we are joining an existing event).

Sign up today! 🙂 invite your friends – developers, designers.

Durban (10.17-19), Lisboa (10.24), Barcelona (10.25), Antwerp (Brussels) (11.3), Paris (11.8), Dublin (11.9), Helsinki (11.15), Stockholm (11.18), Germany (11.22 – Cologne)

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