Have there been academic attempts to produce a collection / framework / taxonomy of generally applicable HIGs (Human-Interface Guidelines)?
Each major platform tends to have their own, and while they must include a level (significant level even, perhaps) of redundancy, they naturally conform to and define platform specific conventions and guidelines as well.
I've been doing literature research in order to find out if there exists some kind of a framework for general HIGs, but so far I have not come across such a guide.
I'm currently pursuing my bachelor's thesis, and one possible way for proceeding it would be to start collecting a small sample of universally applicable set of HIGs and possibly continue that work in my master's thesis.
My current approach would be to map out small sample of universally applicable HIGs with (more or less) sound scientific base and compare the existing platform specific HIGs with that basis. My selected HIG attributes are at the time of writing this: minimum contrast (as defined in WCAG 2.0 which e.g. Apple follows), the minimum physical size of a touchable UI element and most intuitive touch-based gestures.
If someone has good research references at hand, I would be most grateful!
Since my previous comment and initial question, my work has somewhat expanded. While this was expected to some extent on my behalf, I'm still hoping that my work will stay concrete enough to be of practical value (I believe it is hugely valuable for me, since I've gained a pretty nice overview of UX doing this). The scope of my work has expanded to be more like a process description, rather than the more concrete guidelines I originally was after.
Thanks to the awesome comments here, I have been digging into a wide variety of literature.
Where am I going now?
The outline of my thesis currently consists of a literature review and a proposed framework for a general design process.
As a motivation for universal HIGs I will state that universal human-interfaces already exist. For the demonstration device I give you the humble map. It has been an abstract presentation of our surroundings for millenia. For another example I'd like to bring up musical notes, which is a truly universally applied interface for musicians. The Grid nicely concretizes my primary question: how are these guys doing it?
Mainly based on process definitions by Karen Holtzblatt and Jesse James Garrett and a one that I came across at UXmatters the proposed design process framework would be as follows:
- Content Design
- Interaction Design
- Visual Design
The main emphasis will be on the Visual Design to keep my thesis' scope focused enough. The Visual Design/Interaction Design sections are probably the closest to the original scope of the question.