What Makes an Ideal Submission for the Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest?

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In celebration of the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft announced the Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest in partnership with NetSquared.


 comfier than a GS3, still pretty big.

The Windows 8 Apps for Social Good contest challenges anyone to design an app for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 that can make a positive difference. Winners will not only help improve lives but will be eligible for up to 

$40,000 in cash prizes.

Think you have an idea but wondering if it makes a good app submission for the Windows 8 Apps for Social Good contest? Here are some tips.

Apps to Address Real-World Problems

For starters, a good app should try to meet a current, real-world need such as the need for clean energy, improving educational attainment, or improving health outcomes.

One app alone will not be able to solve such big issues but a good app can address a solvable aspect of them. If you need inspiration on issues your app can address, visit the TechSoup Global Hacker Helper for background on pressing issues, valuable data, and APIs.

Knowledge of an issue will help you hone in on one aspect that can be addressed through a Windows 8 app.

Design with Your Audience in Mind

Next, think about your design by thinking about who will be the primary user of the app and where they are likely to interact with your app. A good app idea will not only solve a problem your audience has - it will be easily accessible to them. 

An app designed for a young child will differ remarkably from one designed for an adult professional. Likewise an app designed for use on your audience's computer screens will differ from one for mobile devices.

Test and Refine

Finally, before submitting your idea, refine your app it by testing it and seeking outside input. You can find support by reaching out to online communities such as those on the TechSoup forums. Locally, help can be found at your nearest NetSquared group or NTEN 501 TechClub. Microsoft also offers app support through Generation App or itsMicrosoft Developer Network

If the notion of using technology to help others, and win some cash in the process, excites you then this is the contest for you. Your creativity coupled with the capabilities of Windows 8 mean a world of inspired solutions to solve real world problems.

So don't delay and submit in your app idea by February 28.


Susan Chavez
Online Community & Social Media Team, TechSoup Global

Cross-posted from the TechSoup Global blog.