We just finished up a usability study investigating the new Sidebar and Tile APIs. We asked participants to write code to accomplish the following:

  • Create a tile that says 'Hello World'.
  • Create a tile that displays an image covering the whole tile and that additionally displays a smaller image on top, only whenever the user mouses over the tile. Then add a flyout to the tile which, when activated, displays both images, one underneath the other.
  • Create a tile that contains a list box and two buttons. The buttons should be labeled 'New task1' and 'New task 2' respectively. When the user clicks one of these buttons, add a new entry to the list box that is the same as the label of the button that was pressed. Then create a properties dialog for the tile. The properties dialog should contain two buttons labeled 'Change to Task1' and 'Change to Task2' respectively. When clicked, they should change the labels on the buttons on the main tile to 'Tile1' and 'Tile2' as respectively.

We got some interesting results from this study, particularly about the Tile API infrastructure. I'd be interested in hearing your feedback regarding these scenarios. If you have a copy of the bits that were handed out at PDC, open up Visual Studio, choose New Project and then create a Longhorn Tile project and then start working on the tasks listed above. I'd love to know how you get on.