Apple releases iBooks version of its ‘iOS Human Interface Guidelines’

By , May 14, 2014

ios human interface

Last night, Apple published an iBooks version of its ‘iOS Human Interface Guidelines.’ The move is notable because until now you could only access the user interface guidelines for iOS 7 via the developer portal, which required a $99-per-year membership.

For those unfamiliar with the document, the guidelines are essentially Apple’s suggestions to developers for designing their iOS applications. The goal is to ensure that all 3rd party apps share similar UI principles, so that they’re both cohesive and intuitive…

Here’s an excerpt from the opening pages of the book (via MacStories):

Designing for iOS 7

iOS 7 embodies the following themes:
- Deference. The UI helps users understand and interact with the content, but never competes with it.
- Clarity. Text is legible at every size, icons are precise and lucid, adornments are subtle and appropriate, and a sharpened focus on functionality motivates the design.
- Depth. Visual layers and realistic motion impart vitality and heighten users’ delight and understanding.”Whether you’re redesigning an existing app or creating a new one, consider approaching the job in the way that Apple approached the redesign of the built-in apps:
- First, strip away the UI to expose the app’s core functionality and reaffirm its relevance.
- Next, use the themes of iOS 7 to inform the design of the UI and the user experience. Restore details and embellishments with care and never gratuitously.- Throughout, be prepared to defy precedent, question assumptions, and let a focus on content and functionality motivate every design decision.

The 20 MB guide is available in iBooks on the iPhone, iPad and Macs running OS X Mavericks. It’s displayed in a 2-page layout, with support for inline video, annotations and other useful features. Designers of all skill levels will definitely want to check this out.

If you’re interested, you can find the iOS Human Interface Guidelines in the iBooks Store for free.

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  • Shuvam

    wow… nice move Apple. This will really help me out in developing my (future) app….

    • Falk M.

      What won’t help you is the requirement to subscribe to the paid developer account if you merely want to test your application on your own iOS device. :/
      (or want to create an app only to your own)

      • Shuvam

        IKR… That 99$ thing isn’t that nice…

      • Noaaahh

        Yeah, but compared to other OSes you get great tools which are probably worth $99/year.

      • Falk M.

        True, for most developers the 99$ are a good investment, however this doesn’t apply to everyone.
        Someone who merely wants to develop for himself and wants to fill the few voids of the App Store won’t care too much about that.
        I should have free access to my own devices in terms of writing software for them and not have to tie my own inhouse apps to a paid account, let alone any account.

      • Shuvam

        Amen Brother…

      • Mozaik

        The reason I think is because apple does want app piracy , everyone will make developer account and download pirate app sign it and use it for free.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        This is why you can install AppSync on your jailbroken iPhone in order to test applications you’re developing. You only really need to pay the $99 if you want to distribute your app in the AppStore or use any of Apples apis such as notifications, maps, iCloud, etc…

      • http://www.liam-merlyn.co.uk/ ConduciveMammal

        You can’t build the apps without the paid account. You can create them but not compile them into a .ipa

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Isn’t there a way to patch Xcode? I’m not very knowledgable on this but i bet the iPhone dev wiki has the answer…

      • http://www.liam-merlyn.co.uk/ ConduciveMammal

        Huh, I never even thought of that. So this patches it to allow compiling?

      • Noaaahh

        I totally agree. There should be a $99/year for publishing to the App Store/Mac App Store only.

      • http://www.liam-merlyn.co.uk/ ConduciveMammal

        Yeah, I wanted to learn iOS apps, but the fact I couldn’t test them on my own phone kinda put me off.

  • Aaron de Silva

    I thought you could access it as long as you register your Apple ID as a developer without enrolling for any of the paid developer program.