iOS Human Interface Guidelines describes the guidelines and principles that help you design a superlative user interface and user experience for your iOS app.
iOS Human Interface Guidelines does not describe how to implement your designs in code. When you’re ready to code, start by reading iOS App Programming Guide.
At a Glance
By working with the platform conventions, you’ll be much better positioned to create outstanding iOS apps.
Great iOS Apps Embrace the Platform and HI Design Principles
People appreciate iOS apps that feel as though they were designed expressly for the device. For example, when an app fits well on the device screen and responds to the gestures that people know, it provides much of the experience people are looking for. And, although people might not be aware of human interface design principles, such as direct manipulation or consistency, they can tell when apps follow them and when they don’t. As you begin designing an iOS app, be sure to understand what makes iOS devices unique, and learn how to incorporate HI design principles so that you can deliver a user experience people will appreciate.
Great App Design Begins with Some Clear Definitions
When you’re starting with an idea for an app, it’s crucial to decide precisely which features you intend to deliver, and to whom. After you’ve determined this, you need to make sure you tailor the look and feel of your app to the device it runs on and to the task it enables.
If you’re bringing existing software to iOS, you face many of the same challenges. As you redesign your existing software, it can help to learn about some of the design decisions that informed other successful interdevice transitions, such as those for Mail and Keynote.
A Great User Experience Is Rooted in Your Attention to Detail
It’s essential to keep the user experience uppermost in your mind as you design every aspect of your app, from the way you enable a task, to the way your app starts and stops, to the way you use a button. Discover the guidelines that influence the look and behavior of your app, in matters both general and specific.
People Expect to Find iOS Technologies in the Apps They Use
iOS provides many great technologies that add value to apps, such as iCloud, multitasking, Passbook, and VoiceOver. Although users might view these technologies as automatically available whenever they use their iOS devices, it can require work on your part to incorporate them in your app. If an iOS technology is appropriate in your app, be sure to follow the guidelines that govern its usage.
All Apps Need at Least Some Custom Artwork
Even if your app enables a serious, productive task and uses only standard user interface elements, you still need to provide a beautiful, custom app icon that people will enjoy seeing in the App Store and on their Home screens. Whether your app includes significant amounts of custom artwork, or only a little, you need to know which icons and images are required and how to create them appropriately. In addition, when you’re designing artwork for the Retina display, you should take advantage of some techniques that can make this process easier.
© 2013 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Last updated: 2013-05-01)