Optimizing the Display Area

Ultra-Mobile PC applications should present information in a form that users can easily digest at a glance. Overly dense content is difficult to read quickly in mobile situations, and a dense user interface layer requires a great degree of user attention.

Display Recommendations:

  • Design with information density in mind. The less dense your presentation is, the easier it is to read.
  • Provide a means to hide or eliminate common desktop window controls, such as resize and restore controls, multiple toolbars, and multiple panes.
  • Consider scaling. Can the user interface be hidden at the lowest resolution?
  • Make user interface elements large enough to quickly understand and interact with.
  • Minimize reliance on small targets, such as spillers and spinners.
  • Minimize reliance on menus and lists.
  • Launch your application into full-screen mode by default.
  • Dedicate the full screen to one task at a time.
  • Avoid complex tasks where possible. Break complex tasks up into a sequence of simpler tasks.
  • Design so that a single tap on the screen is sufficient. In scenarios in which a single tap isn't feasible, provide a light user interface layer or overlay that will give users access to the full control layer.
  • For applications that do not display user interface elements in full-screen mode, such as picture displays, games, and videos, a tap on the screen should display controls to close or reveal the caption bar.
  • Make media and other rich content applications open, with minimal or no user interface controls displayed. For such applications, ensure that there is a way for the user to access controls that are necessary to exit the application and to change configuration settings.

For more information, see Supporting Task Scenarios in Portrait Mode as well as Supporting Task Scenarios for the Small Screen in Designing for Varying Display Sizes.



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Build date: 2/8/2011