On June 26, 2002 GNOME 2.0 was released, the culmination of major efforts with the dual objective of enhancing the user experience and dramatically improving developer productivity. GNOME 2.0 was the first release in the 2.x series, which saw 16 more releases over the next 9 years.
The introduction of the Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), allowed for a more predictable and consistent interface for users. GNOME 2 also had a host of advanced accessibility features for users with disabilities along with a built-in accessibility framework for developers to meet Section 508 requirements.
GNOME 2.x was widely adopted over its many iterations, though many were unhappy upon its introduction. Said one critic upon the release of GNOME 2.0: “I found this default configuration, bone-headed, at best.”