Design resources for Windows Phone and Windows 8 programmers

I enjoy working with WP- and Win8 projects. New cool hardware, new application architectures, new tools and no more battleship-grey experiences! The developer scene has changed, especially at the frontend. I have collected some useful design resources for developers in this post.

As a developer, we are not always blessed with a dedicated designer in our projects, especially not in our hobby projects at home where we often create everything from icons to database. Most of us are quite good at writing code but might lack some skills when it comes to color matching and/or user interface design.

I am in the progress of creating a new Windows Phone app and enjoy working with Blend. I know and use a bunch of written and unwritten UI rules to create a decent app experience but I have a problem with colors (as you can see from my blog theme). I find it difficult to find out what colors match to create a great app palette.

Here are some links for color matching and other design related topics I found when browsing the web for tools and information to create a better visual user experience in my app.

It’s all about colors and generic design

Color Scheme Designer
I like how your schemes can be previewed applied on a website design.

My major tool to find and experiment with palettes

Colour Lovers

COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles… All in the spirit of love.

Contrast A Web

The application allows users to experiment with color combinations, examine them under the aspect of accessibility guidelines and to create custom color palettes.


More color related web tools:

Picture to color palette tools


Color Names 

Name that color – I have started to name the brushes with a real name instead of “blueish3brush”. This tool helps finding out what name to use.

Color theory




Design Blogs


Windows 8 and Windows Phone design

Windows 8


Windows Phone

Microsoft – dev.windowsphone  – “let’s get to it! Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned app developer, this site has the basic principles and concepts you need to design great Windows Phone apps.”



Metro examples (Windows 8 UI Style apps)









The release of Windows 8 will create a market big enough for new web sites similar to Theme Forest where designers can show, share and sell complete design templates for Win 8 and WP apps. Our platform needs to attract more designers and increase the visual quality of the apps, this can be a great step in the right direction.

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