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November 11, 2010
Windows Phone Developer Blog

2 of 10 – Make sure your buttons are visible, even when the keyboard is displayed.


We are continuing to elaborate on our top 10 list of things to do great when designing your app. Number two goes over login screens and some of the issues we know could be improved when creating screens with input fields.

On login and other input type screens, make sure action buttons are not placed at the bottom of the screen as the keyboard will hide them upon text field selection.. Some users struggle with this situation, leaving them in the dark as they perceive this as a cul de sac. Do not assume the user will tap outside a text field to dismiss the keyboard and reveal a “Sign In” button.

Our recommendation is to use the platform app bar with the standardized buttons for “OK”, “Cancel”, “Save”, etc… The app bar is never covered by the keyboard, therefore the actionable buttons are always visible.

If you must have buttons with text, given that text buttons are not supported on the app bar and they need to be placed on the screen, try to have them visible when the keyboard is displayed. You can use up to two input fields on the screen, plus one or two text buttons to accomplish that.


Avoid login screens before launching the app.
Even if your app is only for registered members you must allow any user to browse your app—everybody will not know the service or product you are offering. Many users will download your app for a number of reasons, especially if it’s free. Requiring registration before communicating the value or benefit your app is providing presents a poor experience. Make sure new users can sample or preview what you bring to the table and have them sign up or register only when it’s absolutely necessary.