International electronics and computer manufacturer Toshiba approached us with the desire to launch an Android based news reader app they wanted called NewsPlace. We built that app, launched it and continued to improve that product. Impressed with the work we had delivered, Toshiba considered us again when they needed native Windows 8 apps developed for their line of Windows 8 devices. We took the challenge and using the experience and design we took with the Android app began working on the native Windows 8 apps.
As Lead Designer for the Synacor Apps Team, I approached the Windows 8 application design project by first reading through the Microsoft Windows 8 Design Guidelines. This step is absolutely necessary when designing and developing any native application regardless of the platform. It was especially important for this project because there were multiple apps being developed that incorporated in-app search, inline advertisements and third party content.
The Windows 8 apps were designed according to Microsofts design guidelines providing views for all screen states and multiple screen sizes and resolutions
Early into the project, it was decided to use a visual design style that was established on a previous app that was designed and developed for Android OS.
The style from the Android OS version of the NewsPlace app was used a starting point for the overall design language.
Twitter bootstrap was used to establish a consistent and standardized grid, ensuring all apps share the same layout and image sizes.
Each Windows 8 app was then designed around the visual style of the NewsPlace app, each providing further refinement in the overall app suite design. An overall "family resemblance" was achieved.
A web-based framework was used to deliver content to the end user.
Some apps designs were never built and remain in conceptual form.
These apps are available for download in the Windows 8 app store: