Microsoft has released the UI design guidelines for the Windows 7 phone. I skimmed through the document and must say that it’s not as enjoyable a read as the iPad or iPhone HIG. Did I just call Human Interface Guidelines an enjoyable read? Yikes! At any rate, here are a few interesting things that stood out:

The Windows Phone guidelines are hefty compared to the iPad HIG, 65 pages versus 36. They are also more information dense (and as mentioned, a little harder to read).

Unlike the iPad HIG, the Windows 7 phone guidelines caution against mimicking “real world ineraction” and instead suggest that “UI elements should be authentically digital”. I’m not quite sure what that means.

Content is the Interface
Use application content as the UI (photo, web page, etc)

Natural Response
Use gestures to imitate real life behavior (panning a photo), don’t use gestures to shortcut a task.

Simple and Consistent
Basic or common touch gestures should use a single finger.

Super Responsive UI
All actions should have immediate and obvious consequences

Please the Senses
“Touch gestures should provide a delightful experience… a more colorful, intuitive experience”

Panoramic Applications – use a “long horizontal canvas that extends beyond the confines of the screen”

Panoramic Applications

Panoramic Applications © Microsoft

The guidelines also call out some basic gestures: Tap, Double-Tap, Flick, Pan, Pinch/Zoom and Tap and Hold. I like the use of ghosting (or onion-skinning) in their illustrations. The “flick” gesture is shown below.

Flick gesture

© Microsoft

Download the Windows Phone 7 Series Guidelines