Microsoft's Metro design language, which was first introduced with Windows Phone 7, and will be the centrepiece of Windows 8, is a total rethink of how Windows looks, feels and behaves: so it's an exciting time for developers! With the launch of Windows 8 only months away, we decided we wanted to get our feet wet and start developing an app for Windows 8. It had to be something that wouldn't take a year to develop, not too complex, but also something we would use ourselves.
In other words, what is the first app that we would want to download at the launch of Windows 8?
Well, we're all pretty big fans of Reddit and at least a few of us are hooked on the Alien Blue client for iOS (if you use Reddit and have an iOS device, go get it now and go PRO). So, we decided a great way for us to jump into Windows 8 development would be through a Reddit client!
After a few design sessions we came up with a vision for how it might be realized, and here are the resulting mockups:
We toyed around with different ideas for tiles, but decided to go with a static, non-live tile for now. We could change this in the future, but we are a bit concerned about the possibility that too many active tiles might make your Windows 8 desktop look like a late '90s-era Geocities page. If this fear is misguided, let us know.
Taking our queue from Microsoft's Metro-style apps, posts are displayed as individual tiles. These tiles display an image (when possible), title, subreddit, post and comment counts. By swiping left and right, you can view the content based on the different filters (What's Hot, New, Controversial, Top, Saved).
Tapping/clicking on any tile brings you into a specific post view with a preview of the link (when possible) and comments. From here you can choose to open the link in Internet Explorer (see PDF below for more detailed mockups).
When browsing "My Reddits", each page contains a different one of your subscribed-to subreddits with a selection of the first 7 posts. Tapping/clicking the subreddit name or "See more" button brings you to the subreddit view...
... which is similar, but displays only posts from that specific subreddit on each page.
There would be an option to browse image threads in a gallery format. Tapping an image would either show a larger preview (if possible) or open it directly in IE. Tapping the comment would bring you to the Comment view.
The Manage page allows you to easily search for new subreddits, and add or remove existing ones.
For a much more thorough overview of the design and interface navigation, you can check out our full design doc (PDF).
Keep in mind that this is a vision of how our Reddit app on Metro could look. Some features were left out, and we're admittedly newbies when it comes to Windows 8. If you have any feedback for us, please let us know in the comments or contact us. We welcome suggestions, questions, and best of all, brutal honesty.