Windows 8 uses the Metro tile interface design extensively and indeed Microsoft has been using the tile UI for other products like Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 dashboard. In the latest post on the official Windows 8 app developer blog, Microsoft's Kevin Michael Woley gives some advice to Metro app makers on how to design their app's live tiles.
Woley uses the Contoso Food Trucks app for Windows 8 as his example. The app lets users keep track of all the food trucks in their city, post reviews of specific food trucks and more. As far as the live tile for the app, Woley says the main goals are for the tile to find and display nearby food trucks and track them as well.
App makers can choose to have a square or a wide design for their default live tile. The Contoso Food Trucks app was given the wide tile as the default because Woley says the app is updated at least once a day so the app needs the bigger space to get all of the content in that spot. As you can see, the live tile shows the names of the foot trucks nearest the person with the Windows 8 device. The square title is also used but the names of the restaurants are shortened in that version.
You can also include images into the live tile when appropriate. In the food truck app, a favorite food truck can be represented with an image of (what else) the food they are offering to customers. The blog gives some programming code examples of how to create these tile images and graphics.
Woley will talk about how app programmers can set up their Windows 8 app to update their live titles in a future blog post.
Images via Microsoft