Chapter 5. Notifications

Notifications are one of the areas of the Windows Store app UX that have been extremely well implemented. They are used in situations where you want to reach out and inform users about something when they are not using the app. In retail scenarios they are commonly used to indicate that new messages are available. In line-of-business (LOB) scenarios they can be used to proactively reach out to your user audience in innovative ways.

There are four types of notifications in Windows Store apps: toast, tiles, badges, and raw. (In this book we won’t be talking about raw notifications, as they are too niche.) Toast describes the messages that wind in from the right edge of the screen. (Prior to the implementation in Windows 8/Windows RT, these used to “pop up” from the bottom-right edge of the screen like toast from a toaster, hence the name.) Tiles are the most interesting way of handling notifications. Actually, tiles are perhaps the most significant UX feature in Windows Store apps. They are unique to the device-based/touch-centric Windows vision and allow apps to aggregate data in a single, easy-to-grasp view. First appearing in Windows Phone and brought over to Windows 8/Windows RT, they work like a “personal dashboard” for the user. In LOB scenarios they can be interesting, as they provide for new ways of interacting with your user base. Finally, badges apply to tiles. They allow you to attach numbers or a glyph to a tile. (A glyph, just in case the term ...

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