The design of developer program web sites almost never gets the same amount of attention that customer-facing web sites do. This makes sense, but companies should design the developer information intelligently.
Consider a developer site in which information is difficult to find, the site only works on some browsers, information is not available to users on Linux or Mac, and/or information is completely buried in 150MB downloads rather than being on the support site itself. What does this tell developers?
- You do not think ease of use is important, so developers needn't either.
- Hidden or buried information (like design guidelines!) is not important.
- Information is static.
- Users of your information all fit into the same category, so developers' users do as well.
Your site is leading by example, and it is not setting a good example. And your end users (you know, the ones who give you money) will suffer for it.
This is a site discussing end user experience, so presumably user interface guidelines are of interest to readers. Quick: go find user interface guidelines for Windows Mobile 5 at MSDN Windows Mobile section. Be sure to use the "up one level" link rather than the back button, else the frames get dissociated. I actually haven't found it through navigation and had to resort to search. So, here are the design guidelines for Windows Mobile 5.. I've had repeated experience with this search, because over the years, Microsoft changes the URLs for this type of information. Old links rarely work, despite periodic maintenance.
You'll have an easier time finding Windows Mobile developer documentation at the Palm Developer Network. Don't be fooled though: it claims the guide is for public access, but you'll still need to sign in. There's no need to protect your developer information that way.
Keep in mind that developers may not be users of your product directly. So they may think that your company web site has a link to any information available, and may not think to go to a completely different domain. So, developers for Blackberry need to go to blackberry.com, not rim.com. Now that I've gotten you that far, try to find design information at Blackberry developer site. There are some documents, spread between white papers and product documentation.
I really like Forum Nokia, despite rarely designing for Nokia devices. Click "Usability" in the left column, then get a bunch of user interface related topics. Want specific UI guidelines? Pick UI/Visual Guidelines at the bottom of the screen. No user names, no passwords, just rich data. Nokia's developers better conform to Nokia guidelines as a result
Openwave, Opera, and Sprint have freely available guidelines as well, though the information is a bit harder to get to, the information is limited to PDF documents, and the user interface guidelines are buried in a list. Again, is it important to you that your developers read and follow the documentation? I think so.