User Interface Design Guidelines

The implementation of Apple’s human interface principles make the Macintosh and Mac OS what they are: intuitive, friendly, elegant, and powerful.

We want Adium to be the same, that's why make sure you read, understand and follow the guidelines found in the Apple Human Interface Guidelines.

Creating new UI

When designing the UI in the Interface Builder (IB), you should layout the elements so they resemble, as close as possible, the final look & feel of that piece of functionality. This means you should set the right size for the elements, align them properly, set the required connections, etc. You should never throw elements randomly and leave them like this, even if they will be configured later from code.

If you are modifying an existing UI file, please take some time to check if it complies with Apple's HIG and the rules described above.

It is also important to use resources carefully, think twice before adding a new element. Use as few as possible. This will help the UI load faster and also take less space in memory.

Saving UI files

Adium 1.5 & newer

Save interface files as XIB. If you are modifying an existing NIB, re-save it as XIB.

Important: Always change "Deployment Target" to "Mac OS X 10.6" and "Development Target" to "Interface Builder 3.2" (not the "default" one) if it hasn't been adjusted yet.

Those options can be found in:

  • Xcode 4: Utilities sidebar → File Inspector tab
  • Xcode 3: Window → Document Info

Adium 1.4.x

Save/leave interface files as NIB.

Further Reading

Page last modified by Robert, 9 years ago