Human Interface Guidelines
The GNOME Human Interface Guidelines for GNOME 2.x are a great resource, but they are big, hard to maintain, and aren't always organised in a way that best suits developers working on projects. The current plan is to split the HIG into a shorter document that explains the GNOME design philosophy and usability principles, and a new pattern library, along the lines of those provided by Yahoo and others.
More thoughts on the next version of the HIG can be found on the HIG 3.x planning page.
GNOME Usability Project
How to Help
Review the IRC meeting logs and planning notes on the HIG3 page.
Major issues to resolve are what constitutes a 'pattern' for our purposes, and to finalise the template for UI patterns -- current proposal is a bit verbose. After that, we just need to get designing and writing.
We've just started playing with pattern library format/structure on this WordPress instance -- contact CalumBenson if you'd like an account, but be aware that we'd like to keep the number of people with an account relatively small for now.
We hope to resume semi-regular meetings on the #gnome-design channel on IRC at some point soon -- in the meantime, feel free to chat to any of us there.