Quick idea for a revamped HIG

July 20, 2007

I just wanted to blog about it before I forget. I had a nice chat with Andreas and this idea came out.

Well, everybody knows that our beloved Human Interface Guidelines (aka HIG) needs an update. There are some missing bits for new use cases and the current content needs to be updated for the current desktop (although most of the document seems to be still quite valid). I guess I don’t need to argue about the importance of those guidelines to GNOME usability and UI consistency, right?

My main use case as an user of HIG is to open its table of contents and search for a section related to the topic I’m trying to deal with in my UI. So, would it be nice if the HIG became some kind of a UI guidelines knowledge base? This way we can easily keep the guidelines updated and evolve it every time we find out about a new use case.

Each entry in this knowledge base would provide guidelines for a specific use case or behavior (keyboard shortcuts, search, zooming, drag and drop, etc) or UI element (statusbar, toolbar, menubar, dialogs, panels, etc). Entries could be marked as deprecated and have different versions. Of course, entries could be tagged as well. The initial webpage could have just a search entry and a sane topics tree, tag cloud (or a kind of table of contents). The entries could be submitted by anyone but it would be moderated and improved/fixed by the GNOME Usability experts.

Well, this was just a random idea. I don’t really plan to work on that. I hope it can be an inspiration and bring some motivation to update our HIG and make it rock even more! :-P

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