OLPC Human Interface Guidelines/Introduction

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Who Should Read This Document

These guidelines are targeted primarily at developers who are building tools for the OLPC laptop. They provide an in-depth view of the various features of Sugar, the laptop user interface, and focus closely on the parts of the UI that pertain directly to software development and the ways in which applications, presented as "activities," interact with the operating system.

However, as these guidelines are intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the user interface, these pages should also be of general interest. Hopefully, the descriptions of the various UI elements, particularly in the Laptop Experience section, will quench the thirst of all who want to better understand the project and its goals.

How to Read This Document

Although many who make it to this page will have read at least one set of human-interface guideline, we strongly request that you read the content of this document in full. While many of the terms contained within will be quite familiar to you, we urge you to review them anyway, since our approach to the user experience shifts away from some traditional models. This document may introduce some unfamiliar ideas around such otherwise familiar terms that you should consider throughout development.

We urge you to read this document once from start to finish, but extensive use of both internal and external hyperlinks will also allow you to peruse its contents at will. Hopefully, this will make revisiting particular parts of the guidelines quick and easy, and will allow you to move naturally through the most pertinent details. Additionally, the document has been laid out in a 3-tier structure — document, chapters, and pages. Feel free to view the document in full to get a broad picture or to print a hardcopy, or use the integrated navigation to move through one chapter or page at a time.

API Reference
Inline references to related APIs appear throughout.

We have included relevant links to the APIs in order to make the relationship between design and implementation clearer. Please take advantage of this as you develop for the laptops.

Providing Feedback

This document remains in constant flux as the project moves forward. We value any feedback that you might have, and would ask that you share any thoughts and suggestions via the discussion pages. Discussions surround each tier of the document; if you have specific comments, please post them in the discussion for the corresponding page. For more general comments, feel free to use the talk pages at the chapter level or for the HIG as a whole. Links to the talk pages reside next to each section header.