The Visual Design Group has been hard at work to improve our Human Interface Guidelines. These set of rules and guidelines are meant for our developers and designers to use when creating applications, submitting patches, suggesting UI changes, etc. Every developer that we work with will feel a little more safe that their application is headed in the right visual direction for KDE.
However, as with most things, our guidelines have become outdated. Recent development into Kirigami and further work into the desktop have made it clear that we must change and update our guidelines to accommodate for these new developments.
In fact, during Akademy 2018 in Vienna, updating our guidelines was one of the most cited suggestions that I received.
Of course, updating our guidelines is a big effort that involves website building, design help, user interaction suggestions, etc. Our team currently has all these people but we needed to start somewhere strong. Fabian decided to jump on this task and moved our outdated guidelines from our wiki to a more modern site using Restructured files.
You can now find this page at: hig.kde.org
The page features new navigation panels, a lot easier to find. A universal search at the top and all the same content that we had in the old wiki. Even though we are using Restructured files, you can still contribute to it because it is a markup language similar to wikis. There is a cheat sheet that you can use for editing by going here!
It is so simple to find content now that our contributors should not find it hard to get to the right information. Now the work of updating and beefing up the content starts. Please note that this site is not complete, as you browse through it, there will be some areas with very sparse information. This just means that there are some places where we need help and you can help us by suggesting changes and additions.
For now, the updates are related to the desktop interface mostly. However, our plan is to start integrating more content pertaining to Kirigami. We want to have sections where there are desktop and mobile guidelines. That way our developers don’t have to scramble for content relating to one or the other.
For example, recent work has gone in to our Personas page. The personas page relates the stories of fictional KDE users but that represent some of the audiences we want to reach as a platform. Designers can reference these characters to make sure that their application is geared toward a good audience. It can help making decisions that are more relevant to the people that will use your software.
We also noticed that many sections only have text and don’t have visual representations of what is being communicated. We started adding more graphics to them so it is easier to understand. In other areas, we added more explanations for the visual mission of KDE. That way, if it is hard to understand the guidelines, at least, you can have an introductory paragraph detailing the most important concepts about the section.
We would love it if you have the expertise to help us come up with the visual examples of what the HIG is sharing. We have a lot of text, but not a lot of images and we can generate those pretty easy with your help!
Take a look at this ticket on Phabricator!
If you are interested in helping, let us know! We need you!