Thursday, April 30, 2009

GUI Design Guidelines

I can't make things look pretty.

...specifically GUIs (although I'm not much of an arteest either). I've grown to realize this over the last five years or so. However, I do appreciate and admire those people who are able to make things look pretty. In my left-brained efforts to understand their creative right-brained madness, I've come to really appreciate and enjoy GUI Design Guidelines and Standards documents.

Tonight I came across a post on Google's Android Developers Blog which introduces Widget Design Guidelines for Android. The guideline provides a list of standards for Android widgets and provides tips from the Android team on how to create an effective widget, very interesting stuff to glance over. Very useful stuff if you're creating your first widget or struggle making things look pretty.

This brought to mind some GNOME documentation I stumbled upon long ago that provided HCI guidelines for the entire GNOME project. These guidelines start off with Getting Real style usability principle writeups before jumping into specifics standards for the GNOME project. Personally I think some of the documentation is fascinating to browse through. Check out the section on designing effective icons, alerts or window layout for a taste of what's there.

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