Windows 8 Metro touch developer document released

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.

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I just read your PDF about touchscreen, and just because lefties are only 15% of the population, dosen't mean that you shouldn't think about them. you should include a toggle to switch from left handed to right handed, with right being default as it's most common, and buildin this screen flip ability into an API, that way ALL Metro apps have this ability right outta the gate.

The sad thing with this is that Microsoft has been publishing UI design guidelines all the time, however, have failed themselves to adhere to these guidelines in practically every product they make. They would do wise to show the best example for once.

cralias said,
The sad thing with this is that Microsoft has been publishing UI design guidelines all the time, however, have failed themselves to adhere to these guidelines in practically every product they make. They would do wise to show the best example for once.

I'd place a high bet on that they will violate their own guidelines on launch of Windows 8 or within a year of it's release - just as with every UX Guide they released…