Official Usability, User Experience & User Interface Guidelines From Companies

Official-Usability-User-Experience-Guidelines-Companies
Guidelines are considered to be the best resource that designers and developer can use to ensure that the applications and web sites they produce are usable. Operating systems, devices, and development environments are very specific in nature. Because of this, their manufacturers have devised their own set of usability, user experience and user interface guidelines.

This week I would like to share with you the official links to these guidelines. Please note that there are some excellent guidelines which have not been included since I limited my selection to those that link to the manufacturers’ web sites. Also, this list is by no means exhaustive and will be periodically updated. Still, it is a good starting point that will hopefully lead you to more resources. If you have any other recommendations, please feel free to send them over.

Adobe

Adobe Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

Apple

Apple Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

BlackBerry

BlackBerry Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

Google

Google Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

HP

HP Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

IBM

IBM Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

Microsoft

Microsoft Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

Motorola

Motorola Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

Nokia

Nokia Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

Oracle

Oracle Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

Samsung

Samsung Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

SAP

SAP Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

SonyEricsson

SonyEricsson Usability User Experience User Interface Guidelines

  • Flyer

    The “Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines (Sun Microsystems)” contains screenshots in the old Netscape Navigator browser running on Windows 95. Seriously? Has there been no updates on Java look and feel guidelines since then? Makes me grateful to be a .Net developer.

    • http://www.usabilitygeek.com Justin Mifsud

      Yes I am aware of that. I think that it’s because Java was eventually acquired by Oracle in 2009 so the only one available are still on the old Sun Microsystems site. I did try and look for Java guidelines on the Oracle site but I couldn’t find any. Still, I am sure that there are some good “unofficial” guidelines that one can reference. I did not include them here as I wanted to only list official sources.

  • http://girliemac.com girlie_mac

    So helpful to see all the links in one place!

    but one thing I noticed – the url for HP listed here is not the latest. (this is for webOS 1 and 2)

    The latest HIG for webOS 3.x is at:
    https://developer.palm.com/content/api/design/design-enyo.html

    :-)

    • http://www.usabilitygeek.com Justin Mifsud

      Thank you very much Tomomi. I have included your link under the HP section.

  • Wouter
  • Ravi Shanker

    Windows Mobile has long been discontinued, The Windows Phone User Interface Guidelines are here

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh202915%28v=VS.92%29.aspx

    • http://usabilitygeek.com Justin Mifsud

      Hi Ravi,

      Yes I know that Windows Mobile has been discontinued. I listed it here for legacy purposes. However, thanks for providing me with the link for the Windows Mobile UI guidelines. I have now included them.

  • fabrizio

    link for sony ericsson rulebook is broken! thanks for the great post!

    • http://usabilitygeek.com Justin Mifsud

      Hi Fabrizio,

      Thanks for noticing. Sony Ericsson have moved the link to the Developer World site since this post was published. I have now fixed it.

  • Mike

    You might want to include the Windows Phone 7 design guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=183218).

  • http://dragontheory.com Dragon

    You might want to check out the BBC online web development standards and guidelines. They are very thorough.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/futuremedia/

  • http://www.donahuephoto.com Mike D

    Great resources. Especially like Apple and Google guides since they cover both usability and experience.

  • http://bradcolbow.com Brad Colbow

    Here is a good resource I found to go along with the ones you have here. Google’s Android documentation is very technical and can be hard to digest. One of the designers at a company called Mutual Mobile has rewritten these guidelines in a designer friendly way.
    http://www.mutualmobile.com/author/adam-beckley/

  • http://studiosciences.ca/marc/ Marc Robichaud

    While more focused on visual design, I quite enjoyed the BBC Global Experience Language guidelines: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/gel/

  • Dawesi

    @flyer unlike dotnet java is a very broad product. it would be near impossible to have a guide that encompases the unparalled diversity of devices java is on, a lot of them don’t even have interfaces! That’s how huge this product is.

    watches
    pdas
    pcs
    cars
    robots
    diswashers
    etc,etc

  • http://www.rolfvandersteen.nl Rolf van der Steen

    BBC has a very nice guideline online at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/gel/

  • http://usabilitygeek.com Justin Mifsud

    @Rolf, @Dragon, @Marc: Thanks for mentioning the BBC Global Experience Language (GEL).

    @Wouter: Thanks for the Skype link

    But, whilst these resources there are pretty amazing, I have not included them in this list because I wanted to restrict it to OSs, software and devices. Indeed there are some awesome guidelines like these that you provided that can be applied to various site designs.

    Thanks for contributing!

  • http://twitter.com/davidshuip David Shu

    is there a Design / UX guideline that anyone would recommend for Mobile Websites without preference for native OSs?

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  • Max Darkside

    By including Adobe in your list you lose most credibility as they are gross violators of UX standards. Go ahead and start Adobe Muse, select some text and type Ctrl-B and decide where you want your BUTTON!

  • TPGraham

    Thanks for this great resource! Please note that we have updated BlackBerry UI Guidelines to share, including new guidelines for BlackBerry 10:

    BlackBerry 10: https://developer.blackberry.com/design/bb10/

    BlackBerry OS: https://developer.blackberry.com/design/bb7/

    PlayBook OS: https://developer.blackberry.com/design/playbook/

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