Projects/Usability/HIG

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Contents

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

Structure

Conceptual Model

  • Real World, Vision

Task Flow

  • Core usability goals, Use cases / User requirements, Task aggregation
  • Personas, Scenarios, Usability criteria, Feature list

Organizational Model

Behaviour

Viewing and Navigation

General navigation

Access functions

Grouping

  • Group box, Panel
  • Splitter

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.
  • Grids
  • If you really need to create your own widget follow the guidelines for custom controls.

Editing and Manipulation

Selection

  • Use radio buttons for 1 of a few n selections.
  • Use one or more check boxes for clear options or n of a few m selections.
  • Use a drop-down list for 1 of a few n selection.
  • Use a combo box for 1 of a few n selection where users should be able to add items.
  • Use a list view for 1 of some m (singular) selections.
  • Apply the dual list pattern for n of m (multiple) selections.

Unconstrained input

  • Provide a line edit to enter one line of text.
  • Provide a text edit to enter multiple lines of texts.
  • Consider to provide inline editing with complex views.

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.

User Assistance

User-driven information

  • Provide tool-tips for user driven information.

System triggered notification

Disruptive messages

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

Help system

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

Presentation

Layout

  • Resizing
  • Default and minimal size
  • Spacing
  • Carefully place control according the KDE alignment style.
  • Do not use color as primary method of communication.
  • Icons

Style

Text

See also:

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.

Index

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