Community Building and UI

There is a lot of talk about community building for the Ub command developers. My main concern is UI engineering; how can we help command developers create Humane commands? Earlier I blogged about the translate command, offering some suggestions, hoping it would help future command developers. Sadly, we can’t expect trained Usability professionals to review every 3rd party command.

One of the things that I find interesting is how Apple has evolved their 3rd party developer ecosystem. While John Gruber has railed against the inconsistency of click-through in the Human Interface Guidelines for OS X, I doubt users ever notice a difference, nor cause usability issues.

While Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines are good, it’s Apple’s Interface Builder that is the driving force behind the high quality 3rd party interfaces OS X users enjoy. Not to say HIG’s don’t have their place- they help us define and create countermeasures to problems. But auto-spacing/alignment, excellent 1st party UI’s, and good design patterns are demonstratively more effective at helping developers than a list of guidelines and ratios for the distance between buttons.

It is this spirit of providing solutions and value to developers that I hope the Ubiquity community embraces.

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