The GNOME 3 Human Interface Guidelines were released just under a year ago. They incorporated material from the GNOME 2 HIG, but they were also a thorough rework: the GNOME 3 HIG has a radically different structure from the GNOME 2 one, and is largely based on a collection of design patterns. The hope was that this collection could grow and evolve over time, ensuring that the HIG is always up to date with the latest design practice.
I’ve recently been working on the first major update to the GNOME 3 HIG. This has enabled us to put the new structure to good use, and the number of patterns has increased. These new guidelines are the direct result of design work that has happened in the past year. They attempt to distill everything we’ve learned through our own process of trial and error.
There have been some other notable changes to the HIG. Navigation has been improved throughout: the introduction has been thinned down, so you can get straight to the interesting stuff. The front page gives a much better overview now, and the overview pages for design patterns and interface elements have been much improved.
Another nice addition is that the HIG now links to the relevant GTK+ API reference documentation for each design component. This is nice for knowing which widget does what; and makes the design guidelines a more effective accompaniment to the toolkit.
I’m hoping to continue fixing bugs in the HIG and expanding the collection of patterns for a little while, so let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see added.
[Edit: these improvements to the HIG are work in progress, and will be released with GNOME 3.18.]