My Study Life brushes up on Design 101, and passes the course with flying colours

MyStudyLife screenshot

For the final installment (for now) of our ongoing series featuring Windows Phone design consultations, we take a look at recommendations given to Jamie Clarke, creator of the free app MyStudyLife. The app is a replacement for the traditional paper-based planner for students, teachers and lecturers.

The goal of My Study Life is to organize classes, tasks (assignments, homework, and revisions) and exam schedules into the cloud so that the information is always available no matter where you are.

“I really want to make the app shine on Windows Phone as my preferred platform of choice,” Jamie said. “Everyone tells me that I am not a typical developer in the fact that I like design, and I will always put design to the same standard as development.”

Going in to the consultation, Jamie was interested in incorporating the recent UI changes that he made to his web app back to the version developed for Windows Phone.

Jamie recently met with Dave Crawford,design lead at Microsoft, to get some ideas for ways to enhance the app for its users, and give it a clean look that makes it stand out from competing applications.

Watch this short video to see the design consultation between Dave and Jamie:

“My Study Life is a very well designed app,” said Dave. “It is clear he is just refining his UX and his user interface to fit the needs of his users.”

Recommendations to study and review

  • Bring through the icons that are currently in the web app to the Windows Phone 8 version, to tie the brands together, and make the app more coherent across the two platforms.
  • Delineate different parts of the panorama with a different background color to imply it is more of a menu than the rest of the app. This would be similar to how the web app treats the content, too.
  • Ensure that the app makes proper use of the available screen real estate, and maximize the size of images being used where appropriate to improve the overall visual organization of the content shown.

“He’s certainly hitting a good market with the app - it is a market that is very quick to adopt new technologies and new apps like that,” said Dave. “He’s definitely got a lot of potential ahead of him.”

Jamie recently announced updates to the app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1 in his blog.

Learn how to enhance your Windows Phone apps

Are you ready to enhance your Windows Phone app? Start with this video that shows you the best Tips & Tricks from Dave Crawford when it comes designing apps for Windows Phone:

Additional guidance for designing great apps is available in the Windows Phone Dev Center within their Design Library. You can also find sources of inspiration in our Design Gallery.

Get more information about the use of color and the panorama in Windows Phone 8 apps.

Design consultations are available as rewards from our DVLUP program, including an introductory one-hour consultation with the experts from Toledo Design.

For more information about Jamie’s app, check out the My Study Life website.