Realluke

My experience with WinUI 3

10/5/2022

Introduction

WinUI 3 is a framework created by Microsoft to create Windows programs that use the same style as system apps. They claim that “WinUI makes it easy to build modern, seamless UIs”1. However, easy is not the word that I would use.

Pros

Despite WinUI 3 being difficult to use, it does have a few pros.

Style

WinUI keeps a consistent style through system apps in a lightweight manner. It adapts to system colors, including the accent color of the device. WinUI is beautiful and it fits right in with all of the other Fluent UI apps in Windows 11.

Speed

WinUI is created by the same people who created windows so, as expected, it is blazing fast.

Developer Experience

WinUI 3 is irritating and cumbersome. It seems intuitive and easy to use at first, but, when a specific task is needed (such as drag and dropping a file), it has a different, more complicated way of doing it.

The designer is also not supported, so designs can not be previewed before they are tested. This makes designing and finding properties a lot more difficult, as you can’t just edit a text box or drag and drop a component.

Alternative

The best alternative that I could find is WPF UI. It is built on WPF, it’s easy to use, and it supports the designer.

Footnotes

  1. WinUI’s website

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