GUI Standards for Web-Based Applications

Subject: GUI Standards for Web-Based Applications
From: Debra Graham <debra -dot- graham -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 15:37:15 -0400


I need to create a quick and basic GUI standards document for web-based
applications. It will contain information such as navigation, page layout,
button placement, label placement, field and font sizes, alignments, etc.

Does anyone know of an existing document or template that we could adapt for
our use? I’d rather not write one from scratch—instead, I’d like to start
with an existing set of standards and then customize them. I would even be
happy with a template that more or less outlines the standards need to be

I know that Apple and Microsoft publish their UX Guidelines online but I’m
looking for something that is more basic and that doesn’t contain rationales
for the standards. I also don’t want all the user interaction/user
experience standards and guidelines—more interested in basic GUI standards.
We want to start with some basic standards, build on those, and gradually
introduce more UX standards.

Reasons I’m looking for a less than comprehensive set of standards: (1) our
web-based applications are pretty simple—mostly online CRUD (Create,
Replace, Update, and Delete) forms; (2) we just need something to get
started for building a prototype; and (3) we want something concise that
developers are more likely to use.

The plan is to create a library of design templates that the developers can
use. According to Kathy Strug in “On the Meta-Usability of User Interface
Standards” (, one of the
most important things you can do to get developers to adhere to standards is
to “Provide online tools (eg.: templates, graphic libraries, selection
matrixes, etc.) that make applying the standard a path of least
resistance.” So, rather than putting a lot of work into developing written
standards initially, we want to start with some, build prototypes, refine
the guidelines, develop templates, and then also document the standards.

I’ve been searching online but thought I would also reach out to this
community to see if someone had one to share or could point me to some that
are specifically geared to Java web-based applications.

I did check the archives of this listserv and found the following
suggestions from 2006 but am hoping for something more concise in a document

I also have the Microsoft and Sun style guides that came out years ago.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Debra Graham

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