(For an overview of this series, please read this post.)
I’m a huge music fan and, for the most part, I think music is better experience live rather than in the confines of your home, car, or ear buds. The same is true for Metro apps. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What?!” Think about it, the apps you have on your Windows Phone/iPhone/iPad/Android/whatever are constantly giving you updates, making them feel alive:
- You have 37 new emails
- 5 people liked your post
- Someone mentioned your tweet
Make sure your Metro apps are alive as well.
Provide fresh content through live tiles and notifications to let people feel connected to your app. Both live tiles and notifications use the same infrastructure, and can be updated at any time using the Windows Push Notification Service, locally while the app is running, or at a pre-scheduled time.
Draw people in continually with dynamic, relevant, personalized content on your app tile. Fresh tile content gives people a reason to place the tile in a prominent position on the Start screen, and to launch the app time and again.
- A live tile can cycle through up to 5 updates. For example, a news app’s live tile can cycle through multiple stories each day.
- Content shown in live updates should be accessible from the home page of your app. Remove outdated notifications if they are no longer relevant or accessible from the home page
- Use badges to show simple numeric or glyph information.
Apps can use notifications to briefly show people time-sensitive messages that need to be interruptive from anywhere in Windows. See the Guidelines for toast notifications.
- Most apps should be silent—people should opt-in to enable notifications in an app.
- People have control over app’s notification capability, so raise notifications only if they are truly time sensitive and relevant. Show missed notifications, if they are critical, on the app’s tile.
- Combine notifications if there are multiple updates occurring within a short period of time.
- Do not use notifications to show errors or warnings. Errors should appear inline or in flyouts and message dialogs instead.
Next up, to the cloud!