Apple Updates Its Human Interface Guidelines

Apple has launched a major update to the HIG, introducing it in a developer news post:

The HIG has merged its platform-specific guidance into a unified document, making it simpler to explore common design approaches while still preserving relevant details about each platform. The overhauled navigation also helps you browse components, technologies, design patterns, and foundational principles: Larger sections include a visual index, while each individual page features links to related resources like videos, articles, and API documentation. You can also search directly within the HIG to find a specific page. And coming later this year, the HIG will sport change logs that record updates and edits as they happen — both for each updated page and for the entire set of guidelines.

While the concept of “merging […] platform-specific guidance” is not comforting to those of us who believe in the right guidance for individual platforms, it is useful for Apple to avoid redundancy. Much of the guidance for text fields, for example, is the same across platforms, so it is clearer to highlight differences rather than repeatedly emphasizing similarities. This should reduce inconsistencies in documentation and improve readability for cross-platform developers.