GNOME Human Interface Guidelines

The GNOME Human Interface Guidelines are the primary source of design documentation for those creating software with the GNOME development platform. They are primarily intended for app designers and developers, but are relevant to anyone wanting to familiarize themselves with GNOME UX.

Platform Definition

The HIG is intended to be used in conjunction with recent versions of the GNOME platform, in particular GTK 4 and libadwaita. However, much of the HIG is also relevant to apps that are using GTK 3 and libhandy.

Content Overview

The HIG is made up of the following sections:

  • Design principles: basic design rules and goals for the GNOME platform. This is the best place to start for anyone who is new to the HIG or GNOME design.

  • Resources: an overview of the tools and assets that are available for GNOME design work.

  • Guidelines: the standard conventions that are used in GNOME UX design, including how to write text, use icons, create app identities, and handle different types of input.

  • Patterns: covers the elements from which designs can be composed, such as windows, buttons, notifications or view switchers. The patterns are organized into four types: containers, navigation, feedback, and controls.

  • Reference: standard keyboard shortcuts and UI colors.


The HIG project on GNOME’s GitLab instance can be used to report issues and propose changes.