I'm writing an app using the UWP-Windows 10-1903 (Universal Windows) platform to create electrical circuits, designs, and simulations. The user creates a design on the screen with resistors, generators, etc. and performs simulations in the time and frequency domain. It is intended for professional use and not free.
Target devices are desktop (keyboard + mouse) and tablet (finger-touch). It might be nice to add the phone option, but it might not be possible because Windows Phone has died.
I chose the UWP platform because the store is very helpful in the infrastructure for selling the app. The multi-device paradigm is also attractive. The user can work hard on the desktop and then check a few things in tablet mode when he or she drinks a beer in the bar.
That is, I try to design the commanding pattern.
The app has at least 50 commands, which are grouped in 10 menus. Remember, App is intended as a pro and there are many tools and dialogues that help the user to create his design. The app is loaded with knowledge in electronics.
(I do not use page navigation to display the data.) I use the docking manager for SyncFusion windows, as there can be many windows with data, curves, and circuits, which can be annoying.)
Possible approaches to commands are:
- "Classic like win32" MenuBar, with icon + text for menu items. This includes the file menu.
- UWP CommandBar above with icons and menu flyouts. Seems nice and attractive.
Ribbon menu bar and backstage view (for the file command menu). Like MS Office 2016, 2019 .., etc
My question is, what approach should I choose? and why? I'm hesitant.
I have seen many examples of different Windows and UWP apps. However, there is no consistency, and each app seems to follow their own preferences.
- Paint 3D: has a top command bar, but with backstage view for "File menu" commands.
- Win10-1903 Classic Paint: Has a ribbon for the command groups Start and View, but without backstage view, just a classic file menu at the top left.
- Office 2019: Full ribbon with backstage view for "old file menu". Setting command in the backstage view
- Microsoft Edge: Has an upper command bar, with most commands grouped as secondary commands and displayed as a flyout menu with the … button.
- Win10-1903 3D Viewer App: Has a UWP menu bar (icon + text elements), but the file commands are in a simple menu in classic format! (what happened to the backstage view ??), another weird thing, the settings command (gear icon) is in the Help menu, not in the file menu.
- (Save) DrawingBoard-Pro: Has an upper command bar, but file commands are on a lower command bar.
- Windows BuildCast UWP Example: Navigation pattern with Hamburger icon in the upper left corner, with almost no commands. Command Settings at the bottom of the navigation area.
- Win10-1903 Video Editor: Has the top command bar with a few primary and a few more secondary commands. nice example.
All these different and contradictory examples left me in doubt as to what to do. Which approach should I use for my app? For example, should I create a backstage view?
After that, I add a side question that concerns me a lot.
Many apps in the MS store seem like toys or shitty and are not geared to serious work. I mean, there are no serious big apps like CorelDRAW, AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop or Autodesk Eagle. All these little apps in the Microsoft Store look great in their UX, but are very limited in their abilities (and cheap). And UWP apps with desktop counterparts are inferior to their Dekstop versions. (VLC player is an example) Why all this?
I mean, there are a lot of apps in the store to look at the atlas of the human body, apps to retrieve the chemical periodic table, apps to check the physical laws or calculate resistors for a voltage divider, apps like social networks, music listening apps, apps for Checking the weather, watching movies, games, email, calendars, etc. It's as if the usage pattern is "Open app" -> "Use app" -> "Close app".
But there is almost no app with the classic use for design patterns, such as: new or opened file -> user edited design -> save file -> share, or send by e-mail or print on paper. It seems that the apps are no longer "file-oriented", is that "old-fashioned"?
If I'm ready to develop a reputable app for creating electrical / electronic designs, is not UWP and the MS Store the best approach or option? Should I develop in WPF?
Thank you in advance and sorry, if I have done that extremely long.