< Projects‎ | Usability‎ | HIG
Revision as of 18:17, 30 December 2013 by Htietze (talk | contribs) (→‎Guidelines)



Every word displayed in an application is part of a conversation with users. This conversation is an opportunity to provide clarity and to help people feel comfortable in the system.


  • Use a terminology that is familiar and easy to understand for the target audience (i.e. Persona) of your application.
  • Avoid contractions such as Don't and Won't etc.
  • Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and tech-babble.
  • Use a tone that’s informal and friendly, but not too informal.
  • Keep information short and consistent; avoid redundancy or unnecessary words.
  • Don't abuse capitalization because it draws people’s attention.
  • In respect to chronological information consider that your app is potentially used for decades; don't use fix dates like this year.
  • Follow system-wide conventions for basic functions to keep wording consistent.


  • Delete, Move to Trash, Remove and Uninstall
    • When a file or object is completely removed from the system, use Delete.
    • When a file or object can be recovered, use Move to Trash for files and Remove for list objects etc.
    • When a file or object can be removed and was originally installed, use Uninstall.
  • Settings, Options and Properties
    • Use Settings for a configuration dialog which allows you to set specific properties or functionality. This usually applies to application configuration tools. For example, Konqueror Settings.
    • Use Options for a configuration dialog which provides facultative features. This usually applies to the appearance and individualization.
    • Use Properties for a list of metadata or details that are associated with a particular object which cannot be edited or interacted with in any way. For example, file "properties" dialog in Dolphin.

Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.