Design applications for the Windows desktop

Learn how to design beautiful and functional desktop applications that work great with Windows.

These design principles will help you create a desktop application that uses sharp visuals, useful controls, and versatile inputs to produce a memorable user experience.

A quick reference that you can use to make sure that the user experience you've designed addresses the most critical of scenarios.

Develop a UI and connect events, like user input, to create a compelling experience in your application.

Mouse, keyboard—and now touch

With so many tablet in users’ hands now, it's more important than ever to provide a great touch experience.


Standard controls like drop-down lists and search boxes.

Menus, toolbars, and ribbons.

UI text standards, including voice and tone guidance.

Error messages, warnings, confirmations, and notifications.

Keyboard, mouse and pointers, touch, pen, and accessibility.

Dialog boxes, wizards, and more.

Fonts, color, icons, animations, and lots more.

Ingredients for making a good impression: branding, setup, first experience, and printing standards.

Ways to make the best use of the desktop, taskbar, notification area, control panels, help, and user account control.

Learn more

See visual examples of UI elements like controls, commands, windows, and pointers, so you can visualize your design decisions more easily.

Create interfaces that incorporate documents, media, graphics in two and three dimensions, animations, web-like characteristics, and more.

Build your UI with the design surface and tools in Blend for Visual Studio.

Browse standard UI elements like ActiveX controls and dialog boxes.

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