Getting Sticky with Windows 8 and Windows RT (Updated)
A few days ago a newcomer to Windows Store development expressed his dismay at the abysmal sales numbers for paid applications on the Windows Store. The thread was a reasonably popular one on the forum for several days, and, as of the typing of this new thread, has over ninety-one posts. His app was a barebones sticky app.
I commented several times on the post, and the general consensus that appeared from the comments amounted to the following: people will only actually buy awesome apps—and only then when free alternatives won’t do. Unfortunately for the new developer, the app was feature-poor and had neither a user-friendly interface nor an interface that even remotely followed Modern UI guidelines.
So, that got me thinking. What would I expect in a sticky notes app? What features would I be willing to pay for? How would such an app look, feel, and operate? With all these questions in mind, I opened-up GIMP and started a few mock-ups.
The Basic UI
One of the key features of an sticky notes app is the ability to see all of your notes in one neat overview.
But an overview isn’t really quite enough. Not only do I want to be able to see all my notes, I want to be able to group them up—groups like "App Ideas" and "Family Outings" are only a few of the many possibilities when it comes to generating groups for my sticky notes. Additionally, I would expect my notes to be searchable via the charms bar from this screen.
Creating a New Note
While simplicity is important, I would like the ability to change-up the basic features: the font face, size, and colour, as well as the colour of the sticky itself. All these sticky appearance choices would be reflected in the live tile, if one has been activated for the note.
Additionally, beside the option to turn a live tile on for any particular sticky, I would appreciate a handy "preview" of the live tile I happen to be creating.
Danger, Will Robinson!
In addition to style attributes, I’d like my sticky notes to be able to alert me if they are created for the specific purpose of reminding me of some event or task I must complete. Stickies with alerts would show a small clock icon in their top-right corners from the main menu of the app.
Whether I need to find one note amongst many or rearrange, create, or delete my groups, semantic zoom is absolutely critical for fluid use with many stickies.
In addition to semantic zoom, snapped views are also critical to any Windows 8 app. The snapped views of the app would function nearly identically to the regular views: the new note view would be condensed a little in the larger snapped view--and the sticky settings would be hidden away (accessible by the little gear at the bottom) in the smaller snapped view. In snapped view, the semantic zoom view would become the default view.
The app would be able both to share to other apps as well as receive shares from other apps. Incoming shares would automatically create a new note. The shared text would automatically become the base of the sticky and the source would become the title.
Outgoing shares would work similarly, but would vary slightly based on the app. Exporting to PDF and to TXT would also be supported.
In addition, the application would keep in sync by using SkyDrive. All the sticky notes would be automatically updated (created, deleted, edited, etc.). This would allow for the user of the application to keep their stickies with them on any Windows 8 or RT device.
What are Your Thoughts?
So, I’ve given my "wish list" for a sticky app and included a few mock-up designs. As I’ve said before, I don’t have the programming experience to be able to put together such an application, but I’d love to see it come to fruition. What features would you like to see in such an app?