New Human Interface Guidelines

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2024-06-14 15:00:03

Today I’d like to share a new set of Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for KDE’s software that I’ve written, replacing the old one. This work was done over the past several months in consultation with many KDE designers and developers; the merge request says 42 people were CCd, and almost 500 comments were posted during the 2+ month review process.

Strictly speaking, we don’t need a HIG. Developers with an excellent eye for design can usually produce good results even without one. But for most of us, it’s useful to have guidelines to follow so you don’t have to think about the design side too much. Even for design-oriented developers, it’s useful to be able to have a quick reference for common patterns and rules.

And having a HIG is a good idea for any organization that wants for its software to share a similar look-and-feel and mode of operation, or any small individual developer who wants their software to match fit in well with a specific target platform (ours, in this case). When software fits into the visual and functional conventions of the platform with which it wants to integrate most closely, people already familiar with that platform learn to use it faster and like using it more. It feels at home to them. Comfortable, familiar, appealing.

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