User Experience Guidelines for Visual Studio

These Visual Studio User Experiences Guidelines are intended for those who design new features for Visual Studio. It contains information about common user models, user interaction patterns, and pixel-level details so that the designer of a new user interface shall be able to create a user experience that is seamless and consistent within the development environment.

These guidelines are a supplement for the Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines, which are aimed at a broad audience of programmers who develop a wide range of software applications. Although much of that guidance is valid for Visual Studio, the details within these guidelines are tailored to meet the needs of Visual Studio's narrower, deeper audience.

Developing software for Microsoft products means understanding the guidance provided by the Windows team. When developing a package for Visual Studio, however, these guidelines may supersede the Windows User Experience Guidelines.

To learn about specific application programming interfaces that allow you to write code for solutions that integrate into the Visual Studio integrated development environment, use the Visual Studio Software Development Kit.