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Chapter 8. Simple Layouts > Window Basics

Window Basics

As we saw in Part I, there's no absolute requirement that the user interface of your application conform to the standards, de facto or de jure, that are set by Microsoft, but there are some good reasons for doing so, and if you do choose to follow the Windows guidelines, you ought to do so completely.

The Rules

The last time Microsoft officially documented the Windows user interface was in 1999. There have been a couple of operating system revisions since then, XP being the one with the most impact on the “look and feel” of Windows. But although Windows XP looks a bit different, the fundamental user interface rules haven't really changed that much, and Microsoft Windows User Experience: Official Guidelines for User Interface Developers and Designers (MS Press, 1999) is still a worthwhile reference. When I quote “rules” in the following discussion, they are primarily based on the guidelines defined therein.



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