Apple has published its iOS Human Interface Guidelines to iBooks. The guidelines are Apple’s recommendations and suggestions to developers for designing cohesive and usable apps that follow similar user interface principles to other iOS applications.

The company has long offered user interface guidelines, dating back to the original Macintosh, but has recently only offered on the Developer Portal. By making them available to anyone via iBooks, the company appears to be looking to inform and inspire more designers.

An excerpt from the book:

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 iOS Human Interface Guidelines are a free download from iBooks.

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