Tile design guidelines for Windows Phone 8

A Tile allows you to present rich and engaging content to your customers on the Windows Phone Start screen when your app isn’t running.

Windows Phone Tile overview image

Tile design philosophy

Your goal is to create an appealing Tile for your app. If you use a live Tile, your goal is to present engaging new content that your customers will find valuable to see in their Start screen and that invites them to launch the app. To that end, avoid the overuse of loud colors. Simple, clean, elegantly designed tiles will be more successful than those that scream for attention.

When you’re designing your app, consider using a live Tile for several reasons:

  • Tiles are the “front door” to your app. A compelling live Tile can draw users into your app when your app isn’t running. Customers increasingly value an app that they use frequently.
  • A live Tile is a selling point that differentiates your app from apps on operating systems that only allow static Tiles and icons in their Start screen.
  • A live Tile is a selling point that differentiates your app from other apps in the Windows Phone Store. Customers are likely to prefer the app with the great live Tile to a similar app with a static tile.
  • If customers like your live Tile, a prominent placement of that Tile in Start will drive reengagement with your app. Serendipitous discovery of cool content in the app through the tile will make users happy.
  • If users don’t like your Tile, they might place it at the end of Start or unpin it altogether, turn off updates, or even uninstall your app.

Some characteristics that make a live Tile compelling are:

  • Fresh, frequently updated content that makes customers feel that your app is active even when it’s not running.Example: Showing the latest headlines or a count of new e-mails.
  • Personalized or tailored updates that use what you know about your customer, such as interests that you allow the customer to specify through app settings.Example: Deals of the day tailored to the customer’s hobbies.
  • Content relevant to the customer’s current context.Example: A traffic condition app that uses the customer’s current location to display a relevant traffic map.

Tile templates

Windows Phone 8 supports three Tile templates: flip, iconic, and cycle. It’s important to carefully choose a template for your default Tile

The template type you should choose depends on the type of app you build and the design you’re going for. For more information about how to choose the right Tile template, see Choosing the best Tile template for your app for Windows Phone.

Flip template

The Tile flips from front to back. This template might look familiar to Windows Phone OS 7.1 developers, because the template is based on the Windows Phone OS 7.1 Tile template. For more information about this template, see Flip Tile template for Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone Flip Tile template showcase image

Iconic template

The Tile is based on Windows Phone design principles. For more information about this template, see Iconic Tile template for Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone Iconic Tile template showcase image

Cycle template

The Tile cycles through up to nine images. For more information about this template, see Cycle Tile template for Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone Cycle Tile template showcase image

Related Links

2 Responses to Tile design guidelines for Windows Phone 8

  1. Pingback: TWC9: Fall Fury, Azure push, Windows Phone 7.8 SDK, CODEMINE and more - Windows Azure Blog

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