Human Interface Guidelines, Version 3

This is the planning page for the next generation GNOME Human Interface Guidelines (HIG).

See the /Overview page for other goals and considerations. There is also an analysis of the current HIG.


Target audience:

  • Developers who are creating UIs but don't have access to a bona fide designer.
  • Developers and budding usability/design gurus who want to learn about design and usability.
  • Design and usability practitioners who want to share and collaborate.

The next generation HIG should be a resource that:

  • Is revisited by developers in order to address specific design problems.
  • Is a focus for critique, discussion and pooling of knowledge.
  • Evolves to reflect design and usability knowledge and practice.
  • Is an accessible introduction to the fundamentals of usability and software design.

Summary: A Pattern Library

The HIG v3 will consist of a series of UI patterns. A UI pattern is (definition from here):

  • A principled way to solve a common UX design problem
  • Best practice guidelines and principles for UI design — structure, behavior, presentation, etc.

A UI Design Pattern is NOT:

  • a strict recipe
  • etched in stone
  • a substitute for sound, creative user interface design & user testing

The form of the patterns which will constituted the next generation HIG is a matter of ongoing discussion. Further information regarding pattern libraries can be found in the meeting notes and logs below (it would be great if someone could extract that material at some point).


2010-02-23 - GNOME UX Hackfest, London - Notes

2010-07-26 - GUADEC 2010 BoF Session - Notes

2010-10-28 - IRC Meeting - Log

2010-11-04 - IRC Meeting - Log

2010-11-12 - IRC Meeting - Log

Planning Notes

These are a summary of current thinking about what the next HIG will look like.

Analysis of the current HIG - notes on what is in the current HIG and what to do with it

(An earlier list of notes and patterns can be found in the the hackfest notes.)

List of potential patterns from bugzilla - HIG 2.x bugs that have been tagged as 'uipattern' in the whiteboard field.

Draft pattern template: use this as the basis for new patterns (updated 26-Jun-2012)

Writing pattern languages

  • The Structure of Pattern Languages, Nikos Salingaros. "This paper describes how to validate existing pattern languages, how to develop them, and how they evolve."

  • Fine Points of Pattern Writing, Richard P. Gabriel. Presentation on stylistic aspects of written patterns, technical writing, and presenting a coherent story with a pattern language.

Draft Patterns

Based on Latest Template

Editable Lists (CalumBenson)

Based on Older Template

Based on this version of the template -- will try to update these soon.

Handling Errors (MatthewPaulThomas)

Zooming (FedericoMenaQuintero, CalumBenson, AllanDay)

Configuration (AllanDay)

  • This includes details on preferences windows - right place to put that? AllanDay

Toolbars (AllanDay)

Progress Display (KirkBridger)

Fictional examples, older template

Multi-View Sidebar, Image Zoom (incomplete)

Ported from the current HIG

These need writing up if anybody fancies having a go:



Mutually Exclusive Options

Sorted List

Design/HIG/Planning (last edited 2014-06-20 10:19:41 by AllanDay)