New Best Practices Community Forums and App Gallery!

We are pleased to announce the release of a new community forum group focused on Best Practices in App Building. This new section of the community will focus on the three primary areas for successful app building: Data, Build, and Design. We are sure this will help app-makers to optimize the success of their apps as well as give all community experts an opportunity to showcase best practices and lessons learned. We are also developing badges, swag rewards, as well as special ‘insider’ advantages for contributing members who add value, and who help others to succeed using PowerApps. An example of an insider advantage may be to participate in pre-release testing and feedback sessions with members of the Product Teams.

Here’s a summary of each new topic...

Optimizing Data Sources:

It is important to evaluate data sources before beginning app builds. In many cases data will exist when we start the app making process. However, in other cases we’ll need to create a new data source to manage the information and transactions from PowerApps. In either case, we’ll want to have a good understanding of the data schema (i.e. field headers, data formats, business logic…), connector dependencies, and performance variables for working with the data source in question. Understanding how the data source impacts feature feasibility and performance is critical to the success of your apps. This new forum is designed to be the place where community members and product teams share tips and suggestions related to how we set-up the data for our apps. Community members will post questions regarding data and/or connectors, and many leaders in this space will share what data frameworks make their apps most successful in response.

 

The App Gallery:

The new App Gallery will visually showcase apps from Microsoft and other Community Members all around the world! In addition to being an awesome resource for app ideas, it's goal is to dissect featured apps so that we can glean reusuable formulas, configurations, and patterns found in common business scenarios. We’ll kick off the App Gallery with several popular sample apps created by Microsoft, adding practical tips to use in your own apps.

Apps submitted to the new PowerApps App Gallery will be reviewed for quality and business value. The most popular submissions will be further amplified on social media, and across other Office 365, Azure, or Dynamics 365 communities. The App Gallery will focus on many elements of ‘building’ apps such as control selection and formatting, navigation, formulas, functions, conditional formatting, advanced gallery formatting, binding data tables, sub forms, and more!

Category tags available as of today:

 

Design Matters:

The Design Matters gallery is focused on User Experience and User Interface principals (UX/UI). You most definitely don’t have to have a degree in software design in order to make your apps attractive to your users. However, in today’s modern workforce, consumers are more concerned than ever with ‘enjoying’ their app experiences, especially for mobile apps. They want them to be easy to use, self-evident, and ‘finger-friendly’ too. Therefore, thinking about elements such as app icons, or how we navigate users from one screen to the next, is important to the success of each app we make, and will help to improve discovery and adoption. This also has a secondary advantage of enhancing our reputation as low code app builders.

We are encouraging community members to post questions regarding UX/UI on this forum in order to get help from community members who are more experienced in design components. We will also be sharing the ABCs of UX design from our own design teams here at Microsoft. The ABCs focus on core principles that you can leverage no matter what level of Power User you are!

Are you a Design Professional?

In addition to the above, this forum is also open to UX/UI Designers to submit suggestions and best practices. Professional designers contribute to the success of Power Users building apps every day, as organizations normally rely on them to drive branding, look & feel, and coherence across business applications. Therefore, we appreciate comments, suggestions and feedback from experts like these, whether or not they currently know how to use PowerApps to create business solutions.

 

Get started today, we've live!

These forums are available for use immediately here, so we welcome you to get started today! In support of the new forums we are also doing a series of webinars, starting with the Designing Apps for Adoption and Usability live webinar at 10:00AM PST (1:00PM EST) on September 12, 2017. Stay posted for details on the other targeted webinars coming up later in September!

We are sure you will enjoy participating in many ways, and that our collaboration in these new forums will be a contributing factor for successful applications worldwide!

Happy PowerApping!

Audrie (@ArtsyPowerApper on Twitter)