We talk a lot about building and designing consumer apps but what about line of business apps? The new features in Visual Studio LightSwitch are designed to help you build beautiful, mobile business productivity apps without having to write a lot of code. You can create SharePoint apps and HTML5 client apps - the LightSwitch templates provide the fit and finish so you can get your app up and running pretty quickly and WPF, Silverlight and SketchFlow to Blend for Visual Studio have recently been added to the toolset. LightSwitch HTML clients are built on standards-compliant HTML5 and JavaScript and provide touch-first experiences on Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, iPhones and iPads with iOS 5 and 6, and Android 4.x devices.

Three Different Designs for the Home Screen

There are some great resources out there to help you when you need it. Build Modern Business Productivity Apps with Visual Studio LightSwitch by Microsoft Senior Program Manager Beth Massi and green geek Jan Van der Haegen walks through some of the new features in LightSwitch in detail.

Heinrich Wendel, Program Manager on the LightSwitch Team has written some great articles on responsive design. A new user experience explains how the team caught up with Windows 8 and SharePoint 2013, focusing on 3 areas including navigation and look to make huge improvements in the overall usability of LightSwitch apps. In his article Designing for Multiple Form Factors, Heinrich addresses the challenges many devs, particularly web devs, face in dealing with a variety of devices, not only building for different screen sizes on different devices, but different input methods, performance and the variation in supported HTML5 features across different devices and browsers – and discusses how to address these challenges.

If these articles are useful, take a look at the LightSwitch team’s blogAndy Kung in particular has some great articles on UI.