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= Introduction =
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Human interface guidelines (HIG) are software development documents that offer
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application developers a set of recommendations. Their aim is to improve the
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experience for users by making application interfaces more consistent and
 +
hence more intuitive and learnable.
 +
 +
[[/About|Learn more about the philosophy behind the KDE HIG]]
 +
 
= Structure =
 
= Structure =
 
== Conceptual Model ==
 
== Conceptual Model ==
<cite>The conceptual model is the most fundamental aspect of the interface, describing the relationship between the interface and the outside world. The purpose of the conceptual model is to draw on the user’s past experiences so they can readily understand basic operations and accurately predict functionality.</cite>
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* Have a clear [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Vision|vision]] what your application will achieve and what not.
* Real World, Vision
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* Meet the needs of KDE's [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Persona|personas]] in your application.
 +
* Define a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Scenario|scenario]] where persona(s) interact with your application.
 +
* Specify requirements considering [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Destinata|destinata]] and [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Animata|animata]] of users.
 +
 
 +
== Design Vision and Principles ==
 +
* Get to know the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Presentation/DesignVisionPrinciples|design vision and principles]] for KDE Applications and Workspaces.
 +
 
 
== Task Flow ==
 
== Task Flow ==
<cite>The task flow is concerned with the manner in which users’ complete specific operations with the system. In contrast to the conceptual model, the task flow is largely dependent on the product’s technical environment.</cite>
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* Users should be able to complete tasks in natural [[Projects/Usability/HIG/WorkFlow|work flow]].
* Core usability goals, Use cases / User requirements, Task aggregation
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* Personas, Scenarios, Usability criteria, Feature list
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== Organizational Model ==
 
== Organizational Model ==
<cite>The organizational model describes how the system’s content and functionality are ordered and categorized. Also known as the information architecture, the organizational model encompasses both the classification scheme as well as the model of association, hierarchy versus index for example. </cite>
 
* [[Terminology]]
 
 
* Information architecture, Interface management, Window style, Basic arrangement, Screen design, Design Pattern
 
* Information architecture, Interface management, Window style, Basic arrangement, Screen design, Design Pattern
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/CentralConfiguration|central configuration]] (content tbd.)
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* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/NotificationMechanism|Notification mechanism]] (content tbd.)
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* Central configuration
*Minimize to tray (perhaps at behaviour>navigation)
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* Notification mechanism
 +
* Minimize to tray
 +
* Processing of passwords
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* Implement a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/SearchPattern|search]] as common pattern.
  
 
= Behaviour =
 
= Behaviour =
All HIGs assume that the controls referenced in the following "Implementation" sections are used. Therefore they only contain guidelines for aspects which can be changed by the developer, to keep them as concise as possible.
 
If you feel your application needs something which the referenced standard KDE or Qt widget does not provide, do not create you own custom replacement, because it might violate best practice which is implemented in the standard
 
widget. Instead, ask the KDE HIG team for advice on how to solve your specific problem.
 
 
== Viewing and Navigation ==
 
== Viewing and Navigation ==
<cite>The Viewing and Navigation layer encompasses the wide variety of behaviors and operations that allow users to navigate the interface and effect its presentation. </cite>
 
=== General navigation ===
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Dialogs|Dialogs]]
 
* Accordion
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Tabs_Pages|Tabs and Pages in Dialogs]]
 
* Toolbar
 
* Status bar
 
* Paging
 
 
=== Access functions ===
 
=== Access functions ===
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Menu_Bar|Menu Bar]]
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* Apply a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Menu_Bar|menu bar]] to every standard application.
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Buttons|Buttons]]
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* Try to omit the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/StatusBar| status bar]] from your application.
** [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Toggle_Buttons|Toggle Buttons]]
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* Provide a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ContextMenu|context menu]] for controls with implicit functions.
* Links
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* Provide a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Toolbar|toolbar]] for frequently used functions.
* Keyboard Access
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Buttons|push button]] to initiate an action when the user clicks it.
** [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Keyboard_Accelerators|Keyboard Accelerators]]
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Toggle_Buttons|toogle button]] to indicate a state, preferably in toolbars only.
** [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Keyboard_Shortcuts|Keyboard Shortcuts]]
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Command_Link|command link]] to navigate between pages.
 +
* Support keyboard access by [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Keyboard_Accelerators|accelerators]] and [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Keyboard_Shortcuts|shortcuts]].
 +
* Follow the guidelines for [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Dialogs|dialogs]] for secondary windows.
 +
 
 
=== Grouping ===
 
=== Grouping ===
* Group box, Panel
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* Arrange associated controls by using a labeled [[Projects/Usability/HIG/GroupBox| group box]] or an unlabeled [[Projects/Usability/HIG/GroupBox| frame]].
* Splitter
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* Allow users to resize aligned groups by placing a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Splitter| splitter]] between the groups.
 +
* Use [[Projects/Usability/HIG/TabControl|tabs]] to show related information on separate pages.
 +
* Provide an [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Accordion|accordion]] (aka tool box) for different views to content.
 +
 
 
=== Complex views ===
 
=== Complex views ===
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ListView| List View]] to show some items out of one category.
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ListView| list view]] to show some items out of one category.
* Tree view
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/TreeView| tree view]] to show items with a single, natural, hierarchical categorization.
* Grids
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* If you really need to create your own widget follow the guidelines for [[Projects/Usability/HIG/CustomControls| custom controls]].
 +
* Double check the guidelines about plotting [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Diagram|diagram/charts]].
  
 
== Editing and Manipulation ==
 
== Editing and Manipulation ==
<cite>The Editing and Manipulation layer contains the behaviors that result in permanent changes to user’s stored information. … Behaviors in this layer can often be recognized by the following traits: they result in permanent, stored changes; they require an implicit or explicit save operation; and they typically require validation of the input data. </cite>
 
 
=== Selection ===
 
=== Selection ===
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Radio Buttons|radio button]] for 1 of a few n selections.
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* Use [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Radio Buttons|radio buttons]] for selection of 1 out of a few items.
* Use one or more [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Check_Box|check boxes]] for clear options or n of a few m selections.
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* Use one or more [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Check_Box|check boxes]] for clear options or to select items out of a small number of options.
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ListView|list view]] for one or a few n of some m selections.
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/DropDown| drop-down]] list for selection of 1 out of a small number of items.
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Combo_Box| drop-down]] list for 1 of some n selection and a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Combo_Box| combo box]] if users should be able to add items.
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Combo_Box| combo box]] to select 1 out of a small number of items where users should be able to add items.
* Use the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/SOU_Workspace/Two_Lists| dual list]] pattern for n of m selections.
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ListView|list view]] to select 1 singular item out of a potentially big list.
 +
* Apply the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/DualList| dual list pattern]] for several selections out of a large number of (multiple) items.
  
 
=== Unconstrained input ===
 
=== Unconstrained input ===
* To enter one line of text use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/edits| line edit]] and for multiple lines of texts a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/edits| text edit]].
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* Provide a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/LineEdit| line edit]] to enter one line of text.
* Consider to provide inline editing with complex views.
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* Provide a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/TextEdit| text edit]] to enter multiple lines of texts.
 +
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/TableView| table view]] to arrange data in rows and columns with inline editing feature.
  
 
=== Constrained input ===
 
=== Constrained input ===
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Spin_Box|Spin Box]] for numerical input within a range and with fix steps.
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Spin_Box|spin box]] for numerical input within a range and with fix steps.
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Slider|Slider]] for arbitrary changes within a defined range.
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* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Slider|slider]] for arbitrary changes within a defined range.
* (Under construction): Numeric input with both large changes and precise control: [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Slider_and_Spin_Box|Slider and Spin Box]]
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* Apply the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Slider_and_Spin_Box|slider and spin box pattern]] for numeric input with both large changes and precise control.
* Use [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Date_Time_Pickers|Date and Time Pickers]] for formatted input of datum, time of day, or periods etc.
+
* Use [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Date_Time_Pickers|date and time pickers]] for formatted input of datum, time of day, or periods etc.
  
 
== User Assistance ==
 
== User Assistance ==
<cite>Interface elements that inform users of the application’s activity and status, as well as elements dedicated to user education, are all contained in the User Assistance layer. This includes online help, error alerts, and status alerts. </cite>
 
 
=== User-driven information ===
 
=== User-driven information ===
 
* Provide [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Tooltip|tool-tips]] for user driven information.
 
* Provide [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Tooltip|tool-tips]] for user driven information.
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=== System triggered notification ===
 
=== System triggered notification ===
 
* Provide a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/MessageWidget| message panel]] to inform users about non-critical problems.
 
* Provide a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/MessageWidget| message panel]] to inform users about non-critical problems.
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Notifications|notification]] as system-triggered message to acknowledge about events out of the current context.
+
* Use a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Notifications|notification]] as system-triggered message to inform about events out of the current context.
 
* Show a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ProgressIndicator| progress indicator]] for lengthy actions.
 
* Show a [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ProgressIndicator| progress indicator]] for lengthy actions.
  
 
=== Disruptive messages ===
 
=== Disruptive messages ===
* Show a modal [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Messages|message dialog]] if the processing has been reached an unexpected condition that needs interaction.
+
* Show a modal [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Messages|message dialog]] if the processing has reached an unexpected condition that needs interaction.
  
 
=== Help system ===
 
=== Help system ===
* KDE Help
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* Support the user by an elaborated interface or per [[Projects/Usability/HIG/HelpSystem|help system]].
  
 
= Presentation =
 
= Presentation =
== Layout ==
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Become familiar with [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Presentation/DesignVisionPrinciples|design vision and principles]] to understand how the visual design plays its role in fulfilling them.
<cite>The various design decisions governing the placement and ordering of onscreen elements are expressed in the Layout layer. In addition to providing an ordered visual flow, the Layout layer also supports the Behavior tier by arranging elements in a manner that helps communicate behavior, importance, and usage.</cite>
+
 
* Resizing
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* Default and minimal size
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* Spacing
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* Alignment & Placement
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** [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Form_Label_Alignment|Forms: Label Alignment]]
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* Color
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* Icons
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== Style ==
 
== Style ==
<cite>Like many forms of visual design, the Style layer is concerned with emotion, tone, and visual vocabulary. Because it is the most visible and concrete aspect of an interface, it typically accounts for people’s first impression of a product. Paradoxically however, the ultimate effect of style on overall usability or user satisfaction is minimal.</cite>
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The following style elements provide a palette to express your own unique vision while preserving the shared design vision.
== Text ==
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* Use [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Color|colors]] consistently.
<cite>Contained within the Text layer are all the written, language-based elements of the interface. This includes the labels used to represent the organizational model, the names of the input and navigational controls contained in the Viewing and Navigation layer, and the alert messages and help text used by the User Assistance layer.</cite>
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* Ensure [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Style/Backgrounds|backgrounds and edges]] honor the design vision.
* Language localizations
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* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/IconDesign|Icon design and use]] should be consistent throughout the interface.
* Static text
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* Layout visual elements to reduce clutter and ensure balance.
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Labels|Control Labels]]
+
** Use appropriate [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Placement|size and spacing]] to create breathing room.
** [[Projects/Usability/HIG/KNS|KNewStuff Button Labels]]
+
** Follow the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Alignment|alignment]] guidelines.
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Wording|Wording]]
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** [[Projects/Usability/HIG/IconsAndText|Icons with text]] should be laid out in a consistent manner.
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Ellipsis|Ellipsis]]
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* Treat [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Style/Typography|typography]] with the same care as any other aspect of the visual design.
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Capitalization|Capitalization]]
+
** Keep [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Wording|wording]] consistent and easy to understand.
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Contractions|Contractions (don't, there's, etc.)]]
+
** Understand when and where to apply [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Capitalization|capitalization]].
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Exclamation_points|Exclamation Points]]
+
** Apply standard [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Labels|control labels]] in your app.
 +
** Use [[Projects/Usability/HIG/StaticText|static text]] for main instruction and supplemental information.
 +
** Account for [[Projects/Usability/HIG/localization|localization]] of your project.
  
See also:
+
== Building blocks ==
 +
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Style/BuildingBlocks|Building blocks]] help make it easier to design applications that satisfy the design vision without needing to always create your own custom UI elements.
  
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Tablet/Index|HIG for Plasma Active]]
+
== Visual Design Tools and Resources ==
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Netbook/Index|HIG for Plasma Netbook]]
+
* Try the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/MockupToolkit|mock-up toolkit]] which includes UI controls stencils, color swatches and fonts to help create the visual design your application.
 +
* Ask for help and share your visual design ideas on the [http://forum.kde.org/viewforum.php?f=285 KDE Visual Design Group forum].
  
 
=Contributing=
 
=Contributing=
  
 
Didn't find what you were looking for?
 
Didn't find what you were looking for?
 +
 +
A guide to the guide can be found at the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/About|about page]].
  
 
Our Human Interface Guidelines are a work in progress and we need your help. Visit the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Contributing|Contributing page]] to report problems or get involved.
 
Our Human Interface Guidelines are a work in progress and we need your help. Visit the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Contributing|Contributing page]] to report problems or get involved.
  
=Index=
+
= See also =
 +
* [http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Usability/HIG/Tablet/Index KDE HIG for Plasma Active]
 +
* [http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Usability/HIG/Netbook/Index KDE HIG for Plasma Netbook]
 +
* [http://hcibib.org/sam Guidelines for Designing User Interface Software (Smith & Mosier, 1986)]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa511258.aspx Microsoft Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines]
 +
* [https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/AppleHIGuidelines/Intro/Intro.html Mac OS X Human Interface Guidelines]
 +
* [https://developer.gnome.org/hig-book/stable/ GNOME Human Interface Guidelines (v2.2.3)]
 +
* [http://elementaryos.org/docs/human-interface-guidelines elementary OS HIG]
 +
* [http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/index.html Android User Interface Guidelines]
  
'''B'''
 
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Buttons|Buttons]]
 
 
'''C'''
 
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Capitalization|Capitalization]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Contractions|Contractions (don't, there's, etc.)]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Check_Box|Check Box]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Combo_Box|Combo Box]]
 
 
 
'''D'''
 
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Date_Time_Pickers|Date and Time Pickers]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Dialogs|Dialogs]]
 
 
'''E'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Ellipsis|Ellipsis]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Exclamation_points|Exclamation Points]]
 
 
'''F'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Form_Label_Alignment|Forms: Label Alignment]]
 
 
'''K'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/KNS|KNewStuff Button Labels]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Keyboard_Accelerators|Keyboard Accelerators]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Keyboard_Shortcuts|Keyboard Shortcuts]]
 
 
'''L'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Labels|Labels]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/ListView|List Views]]
 
 
'''M'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Menu_Bar|Menu Bar]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Messages|Messages]]
 
 
'''R'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Radio Buttons|Radio Buttons]]
 
 
'''S'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Slider|Slider]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Slider_and_Spin_Box|Slider and Spin Box]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Spin_Box|Spin Box]]
 
 
'''T'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Tabs_Pages|Tabs and Pages in Dialogs]]
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Toggle_Buttons|Toggle Buttons]]
 
 
'''W'''
 
* [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Wording|Wording]]
 
  
 
[[Category:Usability]]
 
[[Category:Usability]]
 
 
----
 
'''Legacy Stuff'''
 
 
[[Projects/Usability/HIG/Lists_Rich_Lists|List Views]]
 
 
Please add any guidelines questions or requests to the [[Projects/Usability/HIG_Questions|HIG Questions]] page.
 
 
Also see the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/SOU_Workspace|Season of Usability HIG & Design Patterns Workspace]].
 

Latest revision as of 07:36, 29 March 2014

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Human interface guidelines (HIG) are software development documents that offer application developers a set of recommendations. Their aim is to improve the experience for users by making application interfaces more consistent and hence more intuitive and learnable.

Learn more about the philosophy behind the KDE HIG

[edit] Structure

[edit] Conceptual Model

  • Have a clear vision what your application will achieve and what not.
  • Meet the needs of KDE's personas in your application.
  • Define a scenario where persona(s) interact with your application.
  • Specify requirements considering destinata and animata of users.

[edit] Design Vision and Principles

[edit] Task Flow

  • Users should be able to complete tasks in natural work flow.

[edit] Organizational Model

  • Information architecture, Interface management, Window style, Basic arrangement, Screen design, Design Pattern
  • Central configuration
  • Notification mechanism
  • Minimize to tray
  • Processing of passwords
  • Implement a search as common pattern.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Viewing and Navigation

[edit] Access functions

[edit] Grouping

  • Arrange associated controls by using a labeled group box or an unlabeled frame.
  • Allow users to resize aligned groups by placing a splitter between the groups.
  • Use tabs to show related information on separate pages.
  • Provide an accordion (aka tool box) for different views to content.

[edit] Complex views

  • Use a list view to show some items out of one category.
  • Use a tree view to show items with a single, natural, hierarchical categorization.
  • If you really need to create your own widget follow the guidelines for custom controls.
  • Double check the guidelines about plotting diagram/charts.

[edit] Editing and Manipulation

[edit] Selection

  • Use radio buttons for selection of 1 out of a few items.
  • Use one or more check boxes for clear options or to select items out of a small number of options.
  • Use a drop-down list for selection of 1 out of a small number of items.
  • Use a combo box to select 1 out of a small number of items where users should be able to add items.
  • Use a list view to select 1 singular item out of a potentially big list.
  • Apply the dual list pattern for several selections out of a large number of (multiple) items.

[edit] Unconstrained input

  • Provide a line edit to enter one line of text.
  • Provide a text edit to enter multiple lines of texts.
  • Use a table view to arrange data in rows and columns with inline editing feature.

[edit] Constrained input

  • Use a spin box for numerical input within a range and with fix steps.
  • Use a slider for arbitrary changes within a defined range.
  • Apply the slider and spin box pattern for numeric input with both large changes and precise control.
  • Use date and time pickers for formatted input of datum, time of day, or periods etc.

[edit] User Assistance

[edit] User-driven information

  • Provide tool-tips for user driven information.

[edit] System triggered notification

[edit] Disruptive messages

  • Show a modal message dialog if the processing has reached an unexpected condition that needs interaction.

[edit] Help system

  • Support the user by an elaborated interface or per help system.

[edit] Presentation

Become familiar with design vision and principles to understand how the visual design plays its role in fulfilling them.

[edit] Style

The following style elements provide a palette to express your own unique vision while preserving the shared design vision.

[edit] Building blocks

  • Building blocks help make it easier to design applications that satisfy the design vision without needing to always create your own custom UI elements.

[edit] Visual Design Tools and Resources

  • Try the mock-up toolkit which includes UI controls stencils, color swatches and fonts to help create the visual design your application.
  • Ask for help and share your visual design ideas on the KDE Visual Design Group forum.

[edit] Contributing

Didn't find what you were looking for?

A guide to the guide can be found at the about page.

Our Human Interface Guidelines are a work in progress and we need your help. Visit the Contributing page to report problems or get involved.

[edit] See also


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