Usability for UWP apps

It’s the little touches, an extra attention to detail, that can transform a good user experience into a truly inclusive user experience that meets the needs of users around the globe.

The design and coding instructions in this section can make your UWP app more inclusive by adding accessibility features, enabling globalization and localization, enabling users to customize their experience, and providing help when users need it.


Accessibility is about making your app usable by people who have limitations that prevent or impede the use of conventional user interfaces. For some situations, accessibility requirements are imposed by law. However, it's a good idea to address accessibility issues regardless of legal requirements so that your apps have the largest possible audience.

  • Accessibility overview
    This article is an overview of the concepts and technologies related to accessibility scenarios for UWP apps.

  • Designing inclusive software
    Learn about evolving inclusive design with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps for Windows 10. Design and build inclusive software with accessibility in mind.

  • Developing inclusive Windows apps
    This article is a roadmap for developing accessible UWP apps.

  • Accessibility testing
    Testing procedures to follow to ensure that your UWP app is accessible.

  • Accessibility in the Store
    Describes the requirements for declaring your UWP app as accessible in the Microsoft Store.

  • Accessibility checklist
    Provides a checklist to help you ensure that your UWP app is accessible.

  • Expose basic accessibility information
    Basic accessibility info is often categorized into name, role, and value. This topic describes code to help your app expose the basic information that assistive technologies need.

  • Keyboard accessibility
    If your app does not provide good keyboard access, users who are blind or have mobility issues can have difficulty using your app or may not be able to use it at all.

  • High-contrast themes
    Describes the steps needed to ensure your UWP app is usable when a high-contrast theme is active.

  • Accessible text requirements
    This topic describes best practices for accessibility of text in an app, by assuring that colors and backgrounds satisfy the necessary contrast ratio. This topic also discusses the Microsoft UI Automation roles that text elements in a UWP app can have, and best practices for text in graphics.

  • Accessibility practices to avoid
    Lists the practices to avoid if you want to create an accessible UWP app.

  • Custom automation peers
    Describes the concept of automation peers for UI Automation, and how you can provide automation support for your own custom UI class.

  • Control patterns and interfaces
    Lists the Microsoft UI Automation control patterns, the classes that clients use to access them, and the interfaces providers use to implement them.

Globalization and localization

Windows is used worldwide by audiences that are diverse in terms of language, region, and culture. Your users speak a variety of different languages and in a variety of different countries and regions. Some users speak more than one language. So, your app runs on configurations that involve many permutations of language, region, and culture system settings. Increase the potential market for your app by designing it to be readily adaptable, using globalization and localization.

Globalization and localization portal

App settings

App settings let you the user customize your app, optimizing it for their individual needs and preferences. Providing the right settings and storing them properly can make a great user experience even better.

In-app help

No matter how well you’ve designed your app, some users will need a little extra help.

  • Guidelines for app help
    Applications can be complex, and providing effective help for your users can greatly improve their experience.

  • Instructional UI
    Sometimes it can be helpful to teach the user about functions in your app that might not be obvious to them, such as specific touch interactions. In these cases, you need to present instructions to the user through the UI so they can discover and use features they might have missed.

  • In-app help
    Most of the time, it's best for help to be displayed within the app, and to be displayed when the user chooses to view it. Consider the following guidelines when creating in-app help.

  • External help
    Most of the time, it's best for help to be displayed within the app, and to be displayed when the user chooses to view it. Consider the following guidelines when creating in-app help.