Windows Phone development and design – ultimate guide

Dear visitor: Please keep in mind that this post is originally from Vibor Cipan's personal blog, the name of which we eventually adopted as our company name together with its conveniently-named URL. We're keeping the posts on our official company blog for all the subscribers to Vibor's blog who have read and commented on his previous posts. Please be aware that this post represents Vibor's personal thinking few years ago and doesn't necessarily represent the opinions of the UX Passion as a company today. 

Windows Phone 7 is a brand new mobile platform from Microsoft introduced this year at MIX 10 conference. Since then different resources have been made available. Here, I’m gathering all you need to start designing and developing new mobile experiences.  Go to Windows Phone 7 development and design ultimate guide.


As you probably know by now, Windows Phone 7 will support two main developer options – one is XNA Framework (used on Zune devices as well) and another one is Silverlight-based option. In this article (dubbed Windows Phone 7 development and design ultimate guide) I will gather resources that are mostly connected with Silverlight-based development and design for Windows Phone 7.

I will try and keep this post updated.

Last update: April 12th, 2010.: Visual Studio 2010 has been released today. However, this final (RTM) version is not compatible with Windows Phone Developer Tools. Microsoft will publish patch within weeks. So, you have to choose – stick with the older version and keep working on Phone apps, or get newest Visual Studio 2010 and wait for the CTP patch. Bad move Microsoft!

This article is arranged in several sections: Tools and SDKs, Documentation, guidelines and books, Code samples, icons, demos and videos.

I also encourage you, readers of this blog, to share your own resources in comments and I will be glad to add it to the list so that all other designers and developers can benefit form this.

Oh, yes – and if there is anyone from Microsoft / Windows Phone 7 Dev or UX team reading this – I’d love to get Metro UI design book or two. Pretty please :)

Tools and SDKs

1. Windows Phone Developers Tools (currently CTP).

You will need this to get you started. This package comes with Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone CTP, Windows Phone Emulator CTP, Silverlight for Windows Phone CTP and XNA 4.0 Game Studio CTP.

Please note – If Visual Studio 2010 is not already present on your machine, Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone CTP will be installed. If Visual Studio is present, an add-in to Visual Studio will be installed, along with Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone CTP. You can then choose which tool you prefer to use.

2. Expression Blend 4 Beta and related tools

Microsoft has published new Expression Blend 4 Beta which will support development and design scenarios for WPF 4 and Silverlight 4, but now Expression Blend 4 will support design and development for Windows Phone 7 devices (it will also support number of different other options and scenarios, but I will publish a new article about that soon). Here is what you need to get started with Expression Blend 4 and Windows Phone 7:

And this concludes the tooling section. Install all these pieces to enable design and development for your Windows Phone 7 devices using the Expression Blend 4 and Visual Studio 2010.

Documentation, guidelines and books

1. Get stated with the really nice reference material called Windows Phone Development Guide and Documentation.

2. Don’t miss the great Application Platform Overview for Windows Phone document.

3. Wonderful resource to help you started with UI and basic Metro user interface guidelines is called Windows Phone UI Design and Interaction Guide and be sure to take your time and read it.

4. Also take a look at the Designing Web Sites for Phone Browsers guide to help you get started in that area as well.

5. Charles Petzold is here with new book – Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (tough, “Series” part is not official part of the name anymore, Microsoft dropped it – and thank you for that Microsoft!). Anyhow, you can take a look at Charles’ new book in both PDF and XPS format together with some source code.

Code samples, icons, demos and videos

1. Code Samples for Windows Phone 7 are available for you to learn from, download, modify and build upon.  Accelerometer sample is pretty cool and it enables you to determine the orientation and motion of the phone.

2. You can get the official Windows Phone 7 icon pack for free for the application toolbar part.

3. Popular Channel 9 sports the Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit with many resources available for both Silverlight and XNA Phone developers and designers.

4. Need some support and want to connect with your peers? Silverlight for Windows Phone official forum can be handy for that. Be sure to take a look as some of the really bright and talented people are there.

5. Prefer some videos? No, problem – you can take a look at some simple get-started videos for Windows Phone and Silverlight.

6. Sugar at the end – all MIX 10 videos dealing with the Windows Phone are now available for your viewing pleasure.

Let’s keep in touch – You should follow me on Twitter now!

Comments (3)

  1. Hey, good work! You need to look at this:

    Translated in Turkish for Turkish Developers. Keep i touch ;)

  2. Hi

    Check this book:

    I found new books in your list… thaks!!!!

  3. Microsoft is not any stranger to having companions galore in the phone business, however its lineup of producers for the upcoming, surprisingly promising Windows Telephone 7 launch isn’t any less impressive. After loads of rumoring, Microsoft has confirmed that Dell and HTC will probably be making Windows Phone 7 phones, in addition to ASUS, LG, and Samsung who had already been confirmed. All of those firms should have their stamp on hardware by the top of the yr, with the launch of the OS nonetheless vaguely slated for the “holidays” We’ve little question that all five producers can construct some compelling, attractive hardware, but we’re particularly enthused to see Dell actually moving into the sport after the impressive Streak and that drool worthy leak a short while back. learn extra at fans group.


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