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Posted by core jr  |  20 Aug 2013  |  Comments (0)
Content sponsored by Windows Phone

Core77 is pleased to partner with Windows Phone to bring you a series of photo diaries this summer. Based on the theme of Reinvention, we're looking to capture the fleeting moments and highlight the often-overlooked facets of the world around us through the lens of the Nokia Lumia 928, especially in the low-light settings in which its camera excels. (All photos were taken with the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone and are published without postproduction unless otherwise noted.)

Reporting by Ray Hu

New York City's new-ish High Line is nothing if not photogenic, offering sylvan respite from the concrete jungle, a thoroughly considered green space that is at once removed from and embedded in the thick of Lower Manhattan. Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Field Operations' seminal public park is a sui generis locale, and although both the architectural features (benches, water fountains, criss-crossing paths) and impeccable landscaping allude to overgrown railroad tracks, the High Line is a remarkable urban space regardless of its history.

If it's rather difficult to take in the various art installations and commissions peppered throughout the park once the sun goes down, the tasteful lighting and ambient cityscape happen to emphasize that the High Line more of an attraction in itself. Leafy silhouettes obscure skyscrapers in the distance; cross streets afford unusual urban vistas; highrises in the immediate vicinity offer an incongruous—and at times voyeuristic—backdrop to the greenery.




Posted by Glen Jackson Taylor  |   1 Aug 2013
Content sponsored by Windows Phone

Core77 is pleased to partner with Windows Phone to bring you a series of photo diaries this summer. Based on the theme of Reinvention, we're looking to capture the fleeting moments and highlight the often-overlooked facets of the world around us through the lens of the Nokia Lumia 928, especially in the low-light settings in which its camera excels. (All photos were taken with the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone and are published without post production.)

Reporting by Glen Jackson Taylor

Summertime in New York City is all about the outdoor events: a healthy mix of free and paid concerts, cinema in the parks, on rooftops, dance parties, river cruises and events like next week's Summer Streets festival. The penultimate installment of our Windows Phone test shoots in the wild we headed to Williamsburg Park—one of Brooklyn's newest outdoor venues—to see one of the most influential bands of the 80s, New Order. Anyone who's seen a gig in previous years at the Williamsburg Waterfront (a few streets down) is bound to be disappointed by this venue as the replacement, there's no majestic view of the Manhattan skyline and the sound quality drops significantly towards the back but on the upside, the work-in-progress park has a 7000 person capacity and unlike the Williamsburg Waterfront, all money raised at Williamsburg Park will stay in the city.



Posted by core jr  |  22 Jul 2013  |  Comments (1)
Content sponsored by Windows Phone

Core77 is pleased to partner with Windows Phone to bring you a series of photo diaries this summer. Based on the theme of Reinvention, we're looking to capture the fleeting moments and highlight the often-overlooked facets of the world around us through the lens of the Nokia Lumia 928, especially in the low-light settings in which its camera excels. (All photos were taken with the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone and are published without postproduction unless otherwise noted.)

Reporting by Ray Hu & Teshia Treuhaft

Now in its 16th year, MoMA PS1's summer concert series Warm Up brings contemporary art, architecture and design together with food and live music for a weekly outdoor festival in the unique setting of a former school courtyard. The series kicked off in late June with a powerhouse line-up the first weekend featuring the artists from the Berlin-based experimental and electronica label PAN_ACT. As the sun set on the first Warm Up of the season, Detroit techno legend Juan Atkins took the stage to the delight of the thousands of day-drinking revelers in the hippest corner of Queens.



The Martinez Brothers closed out the second edition, on July 6, with a solid two-hour set of four-on-the-floor house music, and the momentum had only grown by the following week, which saw record attendance of 5,000+ partygoers. Tickets sold out within the first couple hours of the show (the event is from 3–9pm), as fans filled the expansive courtyard for a lineup including self-proclaimed "Canadian Prince" (and Pitchfork darling) Ryan Hemsworth, Brooklyn-based noise-techno artist Pete Swanson and Detroit legend Marc Kinchen (pictured above and at bottom).



Posted by core jr  |  24 Jun 2013

Content sponsored by Windows Phone

The Walkmen

Core77 is pleased to partner with Windows Phone to bring you a series of photo diaries this summer. Based on the theme of Reinvention, we're looking to capture the fleeting moments and highlight the often-overlooked facets of the world around us through the lens of the Nokia Lumia 928, especially in the low-light settings in which its camera excels. (All photos were taken with the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone and are published without postproduction unless otherwise noted.)

Reporting & photos by Ray Hu

It seems that there is an art/music/food and/or etc. festival every weekend here in New York City: this past weekend alone saw the Renegade Craft Fair, Make Music New York and the Mermaid Parade, among dozens of other events.


The Northside Festival, a celebration of music and multimedia, was the highlight of last weekend. The weather held up for the two-day lineup of outdoor concerts at the multi-purpose recreational area adjacent to McCarren Park, the nexus of the festival (satellite events took place throughout Williamsburg). About a dozen food and drink vendors extended along one corner of the concrete expanse while the stage occupied another corner; the Walkmen and Solange headlined Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The sets ended at 8pm sharp, due to local sound ordinances or other vagaries of public space usage, but the waning sunlight proved to be quite flattering for the performers.

NorthsideFestival-Crowd.jpgLooking toward the Red Bull Creation tent from the concert area

However, the large tent opposite the comestibles proved to be the most interesting attraction. As with Garrison Architects' modular structures at Rockaway Beach, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the Red Bull Creation innovation competition—not just as a sight to behold but also because I had the Nokia Lumia 928 on hand to document the projects.



Posted by core jr  |  19 Jun 2013  |  Comments (0)


Once again, we'd like to congratulate the winners of the App to the Future Design Challenge, as well as the numerous honorable mentions and notables who were hand-picked by a highly selective jury team by designing a Windows Phone app to "create, connect or simply impress our future selves."


We're also pleased to announce that several of the apps are available now in the Windows Phone app store, including several of the honorable mentions! From a private microblogging app to a "scrapbook for designers" and a meta-level app prototyping tool to a "personal bookie," it's wonderful to see these concepts come to fruition, just over six months since the initial call for entries. Absolutely, positively amazing work, guys!


See our gallery of the Notable finalists—those that have launched in the Windows Phone app store—alongside the five winners and previously-announced finalists.

» Windows Phone × Core77 - App to the Future Design Challenge Gallery

Posted by core jr  |  13 Jun 2013  |  Comments (3)
Content sponsored by Windows Phone

Core77 is pleased to partner with Windows Phone to bring you a series of photo diaries this summer. Based on the theme of Reinvention, we're looking to capture the fleeting moments and highlight the often-overlooked facets of the world around us through the lens of the Nokia Lumia 928, especially in the low-light settings in which its camera excels. (All photos were taken with the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone and are published without postproduction unless otherwise noted.)

Reporting & photos by Ray Hu

Like the Bicycle Film Festival, the Red Hook Criterium has become an annual highlight for the NYC cycling community in just a few short years since its inception. In the five years since the inaugural race—a birthday celebration for local cyclist and race organizer David Trimble—the event has quickly evolved from an unsanctioned race in an oddball industrial corner of Brooklyn to a multinational Championship Series, thanks largely to title sponsor Rockstar Games.


Of course, the sheer logistics of organizing a criterium on city streets aren't quite as scalable as a grassroots film festival, and the fact that the series expands to two new locations this year is a testament to Trimble's hustle. In addition to the OG event in Red Hook, he introduced the RHC Milan in October 2010; these two events bookend this year's Championship Series, which also includes two new events: last weekend's crit in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, documented here, and a penultimate race in Barcelona in August.

Lumia928-RHC_BNY-Qual_Group2-2x.jpgThe white balance was set to auto; the photo on the left is slightly warmer, but both turned out quite well. (I switched to Night mode for the race itself.)

I would have liked to attempt to shoot the event on a DSLR, but considering the sheer difficulty of shooting 1.) bicycles 2.) in motion 3.) at night, I realized that the race would be the perfect opportunity to put the Nokia Lumia 928, running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 OS, to the test.

Lumia928-RHC_BNY-Qual_Group2-chicane.jpgA staff member mentioned that the cobblestones were an homage to the first Red Hook Crit, which also had a cobbled section.

But first, a bit of background, for the uninitiated: a criterium is a specific variety of bicycle race that typically occurs on a short, highly-technical circuit on closed-off city streets. The Red Hook Crit is unique in that riders are required to ride brakeless track (i.e. fixed-gear) bicycles, making it a unique hybrid of velodrome cycling and alleycat races: the course at the Brooklyn Navy Yard featured several near-90° corners, a cobbled chicane, and a killer S-curve that proved to be the downfall of many a contender. That, and the fact that the race takes place at night, per tradition. (Racing Towards Red Hook, a short documentary about the 2011 RHC, is a good primer).

Lumia928-RHC_BNY-pre-HotCorner.jpgThis corner (the view looking north from "10" on the map below) turned out to be the bane of many a seasoned rider


Posted by core jr  |  31 May 2013
Content sponsored by Windows Phone

Reporting & photos by Ray Hu

Core77 is pleased to partner with Windows Phone to bring you a series of photo diaries this summer. Based on the theme of Reinvention, we're looking to capture the fleeting moments and highlight the often-overlooked facets of the world around us through the lens of the Nokia Lumia 928, especially in the low-light settings in which its camera excels. (All photos were taken with the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone and are published without postproduction unless otherwise noted.)

It's beginning to look a lot like summer here in the New York—tourists and residents alike were certainly glad that the weather held up for Memorial Day after a freakishly cold start to last weekend. The holiday weekend also marks the beginning of the first beach season since Superstorm Sandy slammed the East Coast and ravaged much of the coastline where so many of us have fond memories of halcyon summers past. Indeed, the city has been making a concerted effort to restore the beloved recreational areas in the months since the hurricane struck last fall, and the New York Times recently chronicled the recovery effort in anticipation of the official reopening of Rockaway Beach.

WindowsPhone-Rockaways-MoMAPS1VWDome.jpgMoMAPS1's VW Dome 2, a temporary event space across the street from the beach, will be open until June 30.


Posted by core jr  |   6 Mar 2013  |  Comments (2)

Congratulations to our App to the Future Design Challenge finalists and winners!! We asked designers to change the future by designing an app for Windows Phone that would help us create, connect or simply impress our future selves. You answered the call with hundreds of amazing and inspiring submissions from scrapbooks and font managers, trip trackers or convoy road managers, to diaries that don't broadcast your every thought or will even seal them up for the future. After hours of review and deliberation by our fantastic jurors Chris Caldwell (, Jennifer Bove (Kicker Studio), Corrina Black (Microsoft), Pratik Kothari (Techark Solutions), and Eric Ludlum (Core77), we are proud to announce our 50 finalists and five winners!

All winners and finalists will receive a 1-year subscription to the Windows Phone Dev Center development community and any finalists who launch their apps in the Windows Phone store will become our notable finalists, scoring a Windows Phone. Winners not only receive a subscription to Dev Center, Windows Phone and Microsoft Surface with Touch Cover, but they also get an app design consultation with a Windows Phone design team member and their app featured on Microsoft's Channel 9. Keep checking back over the next few months as we start Phase 2 of the competition: watching the winners and finalists turn their ideas into reality. And now, the Apps to the Future...


4weather—a weather app that lets you zero in what the weather will be like when and where you actually plan to be outside by utilizing a new adaptive forecast feed at its root, an extended and more informative set of "climacons" and finally the choice of the best forecast data vendor for your region.

"Of all the weather apps I've seen this is the only one that actually does something useful for you as well as telling you the weather." —Chris Caldwell
"Lots of thought into the data/algorithm, smart use of sensors, phone in idle mode, seems like content/utility delivery is simple. Prototyping with users would show whether passive information presentation is contextually relevant / useful and if the user input is too laborious." —Jennifer Bove
"This could be boiled down to a simple AI + GPS that would quickly learn what weather conditions you like or dislike in which locations." —Eric Ludlum
"Very unique idea. The description of the app concept provides a very good explanation behind why there is a need for such an app. Instead of providing a general weather forecast, this app exemplifies the Windows Phone's You paradigm by personalizing weather based on you and your information." —Pratik Kothari


Alexander UhligApp Designer:
Alexander Uhlig
Leipzig, Germany

Alexander is currently a Master of Physics student and expects to graduate by the end of 2013. Right now he is working on his Masters project, which is related to an econometric subject.

At the age of 16 he gained his first insight into human-computer interaction as a tutor and not long afterwards took over the soft- and hardware- support of a small pharmaceutical company.

Getting to know different cultures, and new people with other traditions fascinates him. Right after finishing school he went to Australia on a work & travel visa. He completed the first part of his Master studies in Leeds, UK as an exchange student.

Alexander's strength is blending creative and problem solving abilities. He is passionate about solving versatile tasks and looks forward to the challenges the development of 4weather will bring along.

fitCHAMP—a social fitness app that combines the powerful APIs of the personal fitness trackers that you and your friends use onto a single, beautifully designed dashboard where you can track and compete with your friends through certain metrics like distance moved, steps taken, and calories burned.

"Could be fantastic if the platform API's work well together and you can map data onto similar and comparable points." —Chris Caldwell
"Great socialization/gamification of the dataset and activity." —Eric Ludlum
"Similar apps exist but the design of this app provides a fresh look. Social component is certainly a motivating factor to challenge someone." —Pratik Kothari

App to the Future: fitCHAMP

Christian Valencia & Shelby BlairApp Designers:
Christian Valencia & Shelby Blair
Seattle, US

Christian Valencia and Shelby Blair are User Experience Designers who work at Ratio Interactive, a small digital agency in Seattle, WA. They design experiences for: Web, iOS, Android, Windows 8 and now Windows Phone.

Christian recently graduated from Seattle Central Creative Academy where he mainly focused on Interaction Design. He loves designing simple, yet engaging interfaces for any of the platforms listed above.

Shelby graduated from the University of North Texas and got into UX design just over a year ago. She is an explorer at heart, and will always love illustration and print design.

HappyAppy—a smile is contagious and what better way to spread a smile than by sharing a dance? HappyAppy is an interactive mobile application that allows friends to connect by dancing for one another when words are not enough. This allows people to virtually connect in a physical and emotional way that is not currently possible.

"I started smiling instantly :) You made my day! Besides being unfathomably simple, this is an experience that you'll have fun creating as well as receiving." —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, delightful, great use of physical gesture. Adorable characters, smart constraints around time limits, movements, etc." —Jennifer Bove
"It is cute and there is opportunity for a broader spectrum of sentiment (angsty appy? morose appy? estatic appy?)." —Eric Ludlum
"Uses various Windows Phone accelerometer features to create a customized greeting. This is certainly designed to connect and delight." —Pratik Kothari
"What a creative and fun way to connect with your friends and family and make them smile! This app makes me smile :D" —Corrina Black

App to the Future: HappyAppy

Yian Ling Cheong & Sarah SykesApp Designers:
Yian Ling Cheong & Sarah Sykes
Singapore & Wisconsin

Yian Ling and Sarah met while attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University. Although they come from opposite ends of the world, their backgrounds are surprisingly similar. Both Yian Ling and Sarah have a bachelors degree in industrial design and work experience in design research. When they are not designing, both of them enjoy traveling the world, collecting fresh inspiration and getting their hands on new projects.

Tide&a Surfing forecast app that creates a more gestural way of exploring the waves through time whilst allowing fast access to the data that most is important to surfers.

"This makes me want to buy a surfboard, abandon my landlocked city, and drive thousands of miles to the nearest ocean and start surfing!" —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, quick access to info on the go. Fluid use of gesture, application interface doesn't get in the way. Easy to share." —Jennifer Bove
"Awesome and beautiful. The sine wave display feels like the pure essence of the phenomenon and is at home in the Windows UI." —Eric Ludlum
"Overall very good design and a useful app." —Pratik Kothari

App to the Future: Tide

Martin SpurwayApp Designer:
Martin Spurway
Warwick, United Kingdom

Martin is a young Industrial Designer currently working for DCA Design in Warwick, United Kingdom. Having graduated from Loughborough Design School in 2011 his work focuses on creating connected products, brands and experiences. When these are designed at the same time, really new and interesting experiences emerge. This is not currently being implemented by most companies.

It is an exciting time for design, where different fields such as UI/ UX, Web Design, Packaging and traditional Industrial Design are coming together and the boundaries are becoming more and more blurred.

TripUs—connect all your social activities about a trip through one app. Organize all your pictures, Facebook updates, check-ins and tweets into a Trip timeline with invited friends and share information and photos with those friends in your network.

"Where were you on my last road trip? What a great way to spread the travel bug!" —Chris Caldwell
"An easy way to organize personal media into a narrative—trips are a natural for this." —Eric Ludlum
"Good design and layout." —Pratik Kothari
"Fun way of connecting with friends to capture shared events in a visually compelling, immersive, and memorable manner." —Corrina Black

App to the Future: TripUs

Sittitsak JiampotjamanApp Designer:
Sittitsak Jiampotjaman
Bangkok, Thailand

Sittisak is a Web/UI Designer living in Bangkok.



We can't reveal too much about these apps before they're launched, but here are the finalists we'll also be keeping an eye on:


Posted by core jr  |   8 Feb 2013  |  Comments (0)


This is it, folks—this weekend's your LAST CHANCE to put the finishing touches on your brilliant, useful, touching and stunning Windows Phone app design and submit it to our App to the Future design challenge! Entries must be in and uploaded by 11:59pm EST this Sunday, February 10 to be eligible to win, so don't wait until the last minute. If you're looking for a bit more inspiration, check out the previous Lightning Design Review Sessions or step up your game by watching the Windows Phone Design Bootcamp 201 videos.

Winners will receive a Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone device as well as being featured in "Amp Up Your App" on Channel 9 and getting a direct consultation from the Windows Phone Design team and write-ups on Core77. All finalists will receive a 1-year free subscription to the Dev Center and any finalists and their developers who complete and launch their apps in the Windows Phone Store can also win a Windows Phone.

Our team and jurors are eager to start plowing through the already impressive stack of entries to select 50 finalists and then narrow those down to five winners. The winners and finalists will be announced in early March on Core77 and the App to the Future site. That's also when we'll announce the deadline to have your apps launched in the Windows Phone Store for finalists who want to win the notable Windows Phone prizes, and we'll provide some extra resources to help you make that happen.

So best of luck to all you daring app designers—we can't wait to see your plans for the future!

Posted by core jr  |   1 Feb 2013  |  Comments (0)


Alright app designers—you've got one week left to review, finish up and submit your App to the Future designs! The FINAL Lightning Design Review before submissions close is next Thursday, February 7th at 2pm ET. Registration for that review session closes Tuesday, February 5th at 2pm ET, but space is limited so you'll want to submit your designs for review as soon as possible. You can also sign up to watch the session live, or view previous sessions.

Don't forget to also watch the Windows Phone Design Bootcamp videos to get the most out of Windows Phone design principles. The series is broken up into five 101 and three 201 videos so you can pick how far and deep you want to dive.

Submit your App to the Future Windows Phone designs by midnight Sunday, February 10th. The future's getting closer every second!

Posted by core jr  |  28 Jan 2013  |  Comments (0)


Guess what app designers? Your response to the App to the Future challenge has been so overwhelming that we're officially increasing the number of finalists from 30 to 50—AND extending the submission deadline to February 10th!

All 50 finalists will receive 1-year Dev Center subscriptions (where valid) and are eligible to receive Windows Phone devices by launching their apps in the Windows Phone Store. The app submission deadline will be posted when the App to the Future winners and finalists are announced in early March.

So you've got one extra week get your app design reviewed by a professional Windows Phone interaction designer in a Lightning Design Review (read his tips here), refine your app's focus by watching the Design Boot Camp video series and put the final touches on your entry before submitting it by 11:59pm EST February 10, 2013. That's 20 more chances to be an App to the Future—time to get crackin'!

Posted by core jr  |  25 Jan 2013  |  Comments (0)

The best design meets our needs before we can even articulate them. With the App to the Future design challenge, Windows Phone and Core77 intend to foster the circumstances for intelligent, practical and beautiful design. The ingredients to get designers started are all here on the contest site: a smartly conceived UI, clear and helpful developer tips, and an evolved Windows Phone 8.

We held our first call for Windows Phone app designs last year and had incredibly conceived winning entries. This year, contestants will be designing for the next generation device. Windows Phone 8's changes include a new OS, faster processing, additional user features and general bug-stomping after careful review of Windows 7.5 feedback. The results have delighted developers and users alike. Many updates built upon well-received, existing elements like Live Tiles and grew them—literally. Live Tiles can now be resized with the added option to personalize content hierarchy based on user preference.

The 120k+ apps in the Windows Phone Store (formerly Marketplace) are a strong beginning for a phone that initially received the mixed praise of being a superior choice to Android but a latecomer to the game. Microsoft is aware that its well-built platform requires the buy-in from app developers and community in order to flourish. Developers new to Windows Phone could be understandably reluctant to invest their resources in building for a smaller market, but Microsoft has greatly expanded global access to the Windows Phone Store in just a year and continues to promote Windows Phone apps through various channels and provide regional Windows Phone Champs tasked to help developers locally. And this chicken/egg cycle yielded its own positive side effect: a remarkably clear design, development and submission process to the Windows Phone Store. After creating the platform and outlining hardware standards, Microsoft understood that removing barriers to creation and encouraging innovation are key in both catching up with iOS and Android app offerings and building their own app process.

Windows Phone's particular design principles mean that apps run nearly identically across different hardware. That reassurance of similarity is one less headache for users and developers alike. For example, Kid's Corner—a terrific feature that gathers all the games, apps, music and videos for your child into one place while securing the rest of the phone from prying fingers—will be precisely the same experience on Nokia, Samsung and HTC models.

Adding to the list of features developers can play with and users can enjoy, the technical overhaul includes support for HD screens and multicore processors. Business users can happily edit a Word document or create an Excel spreadsheet. And linked email means you can view all messages from different accounts in one inbox (something iOS users are accustomed to), then save your documents, photos and chats to Microsoft's cloud, SkyDrive.

For this challenge in particular, we suggest going through the Boot Camps on Windows Phone Design Language. After considering the app you'd like to design and mocking it up, have a Windows Phone interface designer take a look by signing up for a Lighting Design Review. Afterwards, you'll be able to integrate their feedback and further refine your app. Then, there's the business of actually getting 'er done. If you're not a seasoned developer, you still might want to give app dev a try via the Windows Phone Dev Center (their 2-day Jump Start has been widely lauded as great watch-and-do training). We had three winning teams last year develop their own apps (with one team being total—but gifted—noobs at developing) and submit them to the store. And developers that are looking for new design ideas to implement and grow (or simply would like a chance to win a Windows Phone 8) can offer their dev muscles.

So, onwards, potential Windows Phone 8 designers and developers! You probably have an incredible idea brewing in your noggin. The resources to make that concept a reality are at your fingertips...and now you've got a little fire under your tush with this contest. Good luck and happy designing your App to the Future!

[Editor's Note: For some great tips on designing for Windows Phone, check out 8 insights from Senior Interactive Designer Lincoln Anderson, who hosts the lightning design reviews!]

Posted by core jr  |  18 Jan 2013  |  Comments (1)

To help all of our App to the Future entrants create stunning designs, we've asked the Lightning Design Review team to send us their favorite tips for designing Windows Phone Apps. SIGNUP BY TUESDAY for the following Thursday's weekly Lighting Design Review! - core jr

Senior Interactive Designer Lincoln Anderson, who hosts the reviews, analyzed common issues he sees and shares his top eight design tips for Windows Phone.

Write a "best-at" statement that clearly outlines what makes your app great and unique from the rest. Use it as a mission statement that guides design and development. Think about how different types of users will employ your app and focus on the top three "user scenarios" that truly support your best-at statement. Make these user experiences truly stellar before adding more features.

For reference: Windows Phone Design Process - Concept


Create a navigation flowchart, showing how the pages in your app interrelate. It will give you a clearer picture of how users should get around in your app. Group like pages and then decide if each group should be in panorama, pivot or app bar style based on how users will interact. Even if you're not artistically inclined, sketch simple wireframes for your pages and try different iterations. Sketches are always easier to modify than code.

For reference: Windows Phone Design Process - Structure


Grid based design is nothing new, but did you know that Windows Phone has its own grid? Use it while sketching or creating design comps. There is even a handy overlay included in page template. (It's hidden in the XAML comments.) Flip it on and see the grid in your own application. Snap to it!

For reference: Sketch Templates


One of the great things about Windows Phone is that users choose light or dark themes as well as personal accent colors. The entire phone takes on those themes. Don't let your app get left behind, or worse, perform opposite the user's intent. Theme and accent colors are available as resources you can use throughout your app.

For reference: Themes for Windows Phone


Users love apps that feel like they're an organic part of their phone. Make a great live tile experience, even if that's not the main feature of your app. Live tiles pull users back into your app, and give you an edge over the competition. Take a look at the templates and come up with some ideas.

For reference: Tile Design Guidelines for Windows Phone



Posted by core jr  |  13 Dec 2012  |  Comments (0)

Today is the day! Our App to the Future Design Challenge is Open for Entries. Core77 and Windows Phone have teamed up for the second year in a row to challenge people around the world to design an app for Windows Phone 8! This year, we're asking the community to design an app that helps create, connect or delight their future self.

Apps have become a way for ordinary people to take control of their day-to-day lives. Today apps help us wake up, get dressed, get through our commute, stay abreast of news and reach each other throughout the day; and they offer endless options for dining, socializing and entertainment. At their best, apps can help us do the things we want to do, in a way we prefer to do them—they empower our passions—but what more can they do for us tomorrow?

This year we've picked three categories that App to the Future submissions should be inspired by:

  • Design to Do. Love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life—this is your chance to create an app that helps you do what you love. What part of the design process are you most passionate about? Design an app that focuses on creativity and improve it.

  • Design to Connect. Sometimes it isn't what you're doing as much as whom you're doing it with. Design an app that keeps you close and connected with the people you love and care about.

  • Design to Delight. Harness the power of that computer in your pocket and design an app that surprises and delights—get people excited about what they're doing, and they'll love it as much as you do.

To participate in the challenge, you must submit a design concept by February 3, 2013. It doesn't need to be a fully functioning app. A great mockup, images, brilliant napkin sketches, or a video will do. Our esteemed jury will look at the originality of the idea and how you blend your creativity with the Windows Phone design language to make their decision.

30 finalists will be selected, then the judges will chose 5 winners who will receive a Microsoft Surface, a Windows Phone 8 and 1-year Dev Center membership.


Sounds intimidating? Don't know where to start? We're excited to share two new resources for designers for this year's challenge: Windows Phone Design Boot Camp and Lightning Design Reviews.


Posted by core jr  |   4 Dec 2012  |  Comments (1)

App to the Future Design Challenge

And we're back...from the future. App to the Future that is. Core77 and Windows Phone have teamed up once again to challenge people around the world to design an app for Windows Phone 8!

Design an app that helps you create, connect or delight your future self. Although our contest opens up December 13th, you can REGISTER NOW and get an ideas warmup and a jump on the competition by watching the Design Boot Camp video series.


Through Design Boot Camp you can learn from former Windows Phone Design Integration Lead Jared Potter about Windows Phone philosophy, inspiration and the visuals that comprise the Windows Phone design language. Ready your ideas for our special Lighting Design Reviews where you can receive valuable feedback from experienced Windows Phone 8 interface designers before submitting an entry. Take a look at our five winners from last year's Fast Track to the Mobile App productivity design challenge to get inspired.

Now you can change the future...with our App to the Future Design Challenge. REGISTER TODAY!