Simplifying List Numbering in UWP C# with Custom Container Controls

Creating well-organized and easily comprehensible user interfaces is crucial in modern app development. In the context of Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps using C#, developers often face the challenge of displaying lists or grids with numbered items. Two popular approaches to achieving this are using the converting bind technique and encapsulating the list within a custom container. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both methods, focusing on their impact on performance and code maintainability.

The Converting Bind Approach

The converting bind approach involves using Data Binding with a Value Converter. This technique allows developers to transform the data before it’s displayed in the UI, such as adding numbering to list items. While it’s a flexible solution, it can sometimes feel cumbersome, especially when dealing with intricate UI layouts.


Dynamic and Flexible: Converting bind allows dynamic modification of the data being displayed. It’s suitable for scenarios where the numbering is just one of many transformations required. Separation of Concerns: This approach follows the principle of separating the data from its representation in the UI, promoting cleaner code architecture. Reusability: Value Converters can be reused across different parts of the application, maintaining consistency in data transformation.


Complexity: Implementing and managing the Value Converter might increase code complexity, making it harder to understand for developers who are new to the project. Performance Impact: While the performance impact is generally negligible for smaller lists, applying complex conversions to large lists might introduce overhead, affecting app performance. Maintenance Challenges: As the UI evolves, maintaining and updating the Value Converters to accommodate new requirements can become cumbersome.

The Custom Container Approach

The custom container approach involves encapsulating the list or grid within a custom control that inherently supports the desired numbering or any other modifications. This method simplifies the UI by abstracting the complex conversion logic from the binding process.


Simplicity: By designing a custom container, you encapsulate the numbering logic within the container itself, making the binding process more straightforward. Readability: The main page’s XAML remains clean and focused on the overall layout, while the custom container handles the specific details like numbering. Performance: Since the custom container handles the numbering internally, there’s a potential for improved performance, especially for larger lists.


Limited Flexibility: This approach might not be as flexible as the converting bind technique. If you need to apply various transformations or modify the numbering logic frequently, you may need to make changes to the custom container.

Choosing the Right Approach

When deciding between these two approaches, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Your choice should depend on the specific requirements of your app, your familiarity with the techniques, and your team’s overall expertise.

If you find yourself repeatedly needing to display numbered lists or grids with similar requirements throughout your app, the custom container approach might provide a more streamlined solution. It reduces complexity and minimizes potential performance overhead. On the other hand, if your app requires dynamic data transformations beyond simple numbering, the converting bind approach offers greater flexibility.


Numbering lists or grids in a UWP C# app requires thoughtful consideration of both the converting bind and custom container techniques. While the converting bind technique is versatile, it can introduce complexity and potential performance overhead. In contrast, the custom container approach simplifies the UI and can lead to better performance. Your choice should reflect the balance between your app’s requirements, maintainability, and your team’s familiarity with the chosen approach. Remember, the goal is to create a user-friendly and efficient app that meets both the functional and aesthetic needs of your users.