Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Polish all the UI!
I've been watching a great set of threads roll by in my email related to a re-boot to the human interface guidelines used by the KDE community. The blog posts by Thomas and Björn explaining what they are up to are great reading and it gives those of us who are developers a really good reminder about user interface fit and finish. ( .. and therefore the above ironic memegif ;)
Inspired, I spent a bit of time in the wallpaper setting dialog yesterday working on visual consistency and typography issues. The fixes were all little things that are pretty unsexy and would not make for an interesting blog if weren't for this new HIG work. It is these "little" things, however, that make things feel not just more polished but more trustworthy and desirable to use. It creates a comfort that people respond to on an emotional level. They find themselves moving through their tasks with more ease and less distraction; the human mind is very good at ignoring sameness and by contrast picking out differences.
So this is a little note of encouragement to my fellow developers for us to pay attention to the human interface guidelines as they take further shape and to redouble our effort to polish the GUI.
Note that we've been working on a HIG that is relevant for touch, also led by Thomas, and as that has been taking more and more shape it will become an important resource for those building applications with QML for devices who wish their interfaces to rock. Just as we have managed to keep a unity on the desktop between the user interfaces, we can do the same on mobile.