[HIG] GNOME Human Interface Guidelines 1.0 released

(or read this announcement online at

The GNOME Usability Project is proud to announce the release of the
GNOME Human Interface Guidelines (v1.0), the product of usability
engineers, designers, hackers, and Irish wine. The guidelines deliver
both specific advice on making effective use of interface elements, as
well as the philosophy and general principles behind the guidelines.

The Human Interface Guidelines may be browsed online or downloaded from:


As the most complete and carefully researched[1] document of its kind in
the Free Software community, the guidelines are a major step toward the
creation of an easy to use and powerful set of free applications with a
distinctive and coherent style. While they are targeted toward the
development of GNOME applications, little of the content is library or
toolkit specific. Thus we hope that projects unaffiliated with the GNOME
desktop will find these guidelines useful too, and will consider
following them wherever applicable (reaping our usability experience and
the many hours that have gone into the research, production and revision
of the guidelines). 

Further, we would like to challenge the KDE project to serve the general
user community by partnering with us in developing these guidelines to
create a common Free Software interface style. Most users avail of a mix
of applications from both desktops and other sources, whatever their
particular choice of environment. Everyone wins when we make this
natural and convenient. We call on the members of the KDE project to
rise above Not Invented Here (a natural tendency that few people, much
less large projects, successfully repress, we know) in taking a major
step for the good of both our user bases and the long term success of
Free Software.

Finally, while we feel it is very useful in its current state this
document has a long way to go, and we know it. As an initial public
release, we expect there to be many typographical and grammatical errors
and perhaps a few major problems too. Please send any feedback to
hig gnome org, or file a bug at
http://bugzilla.gnome.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=HIG. Now that the first
major revision is out, you can expect to enjoy (ha ha) new releases of
the guidelines every month or so containing additional sections and
fixes to existing sections. If you would like to see a topic covered
that isn't currently in the HIG, please do mail us!

-Seth Nickell (on behalf of the HIG team)

[1] We have drawn upon the success or failure of design aspects from
many environments including GNOME itself, KDE, Mac OS, Java, and
Windows, as well as our own observations. We are indebted to those
environments and their respective style guides, as well as the countless
people who have allowed us to observe them, or served as subjects in
usability tests.

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