From KDE UserBase Wiki

    KDE User Interface Guidelines

    The KDE Human interface guidelines (HIG) offer application designers and 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.

    Getting Started

    • Design Vision and Principles - The overall vision and principles that guide the design and development of user interfaces for KDE software.
    • Concept - Creating a project vision, determining the users, and the scenarios of use.
    • Organization - Guidelines on how an application’s content and functionality are ordered and categorized.


    This section contains guidelines for application behaviour.

    • Viewing and Navigation - Guidelines on controls and patterns to use for viewing, navigating and performing actions on application content.
    • Editing and Manipulation - Guidelines on controls and patterns to use for selection and input.
    • User Assistance - Guidelines on tooltips, notifications, messages and help.
    • Patterns - Guidelines on how to use controls in certain combinations to to accomplish specific behaviors.


    Presentation deals with the visual design of the user interface.

    • Layout - Guidelines regarding the placement and ordering of onscreen elements. Includes guidance on layout patterns, alignment, size and spacing.
    • Style - Guidelines on the use of colour, icon design and the typography to communicate with a consistent visual vocabulary.
    • Text - Guidelines for the written, language-based elements of the interface. Includes guidelines on wording, capitalization and localization.

    Tools and Resources

    The following tools and resources are offered to help with following these guidelines.

    • Controls List - A complete listing of all user interface controls and their guidelines in alphabetical order.
    • Mockup Toolkit - Includes UI controls stencils, color swatches and fonts to help create the visual design your application.
    • Visual Design Group forum - Ask for help and share your design ideas.