The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is just a few days away from its official February 29 launch date and Microsoft is giving app developers some last minute assistance in creating programs that use Windows 8's Metro style touch screen user interface. Microsoft has now released a new PDF document that gives developers some hints on making their programs work best with the touch screen UI, via istartedsomething.com.
The document offers a number of hints for making Metro apps better suited for a touch screen user. For example, Microsoft says:
A mouse and pen are precise, while fingers aren’t, and small targets require precision. Use large targets that support direct manipulation and provide rich touch interaction data. Swiping down on a large item is quick and easy because the entire item is a target for selection.
The document also goes over how developers need to account for how a Windows 8 device, such as a tablet, is held by the user, including being held with two hands, placed on a person's lap or even standing up on its own.
Microsoft also seems to think that having elements placed on the right side of a screen is better. It states in the document:
Most people hold a slate with their left hand and touch it with their right. In general, elements placed on the right side are easier to touch, and putting them on the right prevents occlusion of the main area of the screen.