- Develop specifications for each part of a theme, from windows down to a per widget level.
- List what each widget needs to get across about itself. Continue with the how.
- Describe relationships between widgets (example: a group of radio buttons and a combo-box both stand for a selection of one item out of a list)
- Panels need to be clearly separated from the background and windows. However, they are related to menu and tool bars and this can be shown.
- For a top panel, it must be clearly distinct from a window titlebar.
- Clearly separate the window area from the surrounding and other windows
- Show the availability or unavailability of means of manipulation, for closing, minimizing, maximizing, moving and resizing.
- Indicate which window has focus
- Indicate if a window can be resized or not
Non-interactive widgets have to make it clear that they are not click- or drag-able. Especially progressbars have to be clearly distinct from scrollbars and sliders.
- Progress bars
- Offer a target area.
- Give a hint at possible interaction. Can the widget be clicked on and/or dragged? This possibilities should always be shown in the same or similar fashion.
- Ideally indicate if the pointer is in the target area before an action is taken (prelight).
- Visually respond to an action like clicking or dragging.
- Indicate whether the widget has input focus (note the separated keyboard and enter-key focus in dialogs).
- Command Buttons. There is a special case of focus-handling in dialogs: The Default button of the dialog (for example "Open" in the "Open File" dialog) will receive Enter-key events, even if the general keyboard focus is on another widget that doesn't react to Enter itself.
- Toggle Buttons
- Check Boxes
- Radio Buttons
A notebook needs to communicate that it allows to make one of several areas visible, while all of these areas and the options offered on them persist.
A combobox allows to select always one item from a list and is therein like a group of radio buttons.
- Combobox Entries
- Text Entries
- Spin Buttons
- List Views
- Icon Views
- Tree Views