System76 Style & Human Interface Guidelines

The Style & Human Interface Guidelines (SHIG) are designed to help our developers and designers maintain a consistent and pleasant experience for end users across our web and desktop products.


Dialogs & Actions

When presenting a dialog or action, include Primary and Secondary text as well as Actions.

Primary Text

Basic information and a suggestion.

Secondary Text

Further details, including any non-obvious consequences of actions.


Aligned right-to-left at the bottom of the UI. Affirmative/suggested action, cancel (if applicable), and any secondary actions.


Common Terms to Use & Avoid


If you are unable to know the explicit type, use the generic term “product” when referring to a customer’s product. Avoid semi-generic terms like “computer”. If you can determine whether it’s a laptop, desktop, accessory, etc., use that more specific term. If you know the specific product, use its product name when it makes sense.

Payment Methods

Use the term payment methods, not transaction methods, payment cards, or anything else when being generic. If you know the type of a specific payment method in context (i.e. a card or financing), feel free to be more specific. However, avoid credit card or debit card, since we can’t distinguish between the two; instead, just say, card.

Measurements & Units

Use a space between numbers and text units, eg. 72 TB and 4.0 GHz instead of 72TB and 4.0GHz. For feet and inches, use the prime (′, ′) and double-prime (″, ″) entities. For pounds and kilograms, always abbreviate, but do not use a period after the abbreviation, eg. use 2.5 lbs, not 2.5 lbs..

Display & Camera Resolutions

When describing resolutions, always use a times symbol (×, ×) between the pixel width and height with no spaces, eg. 3200×1800. Default to using the actual resolution (1920×1080, 3200×1800, 3840×2160, etc.) and not more ambiguous terms.

To describe a high-density pixel-doubled screen, always use the term HiDPI; the fact that they are HiDPI is what matters, not the exact physical resolution. Relegate exact pixel resolutions to tech specs or supplementary text.

When a shorthand for the resolution exists, use it when space is limited, but only when it exactly matches what is in the table below. Never use it as a replacement for the actual resolution in tech specs, as customers are looking for the specific pixel resolutions there.

Resolution Shorthand
1280×720 720p
1920×1080 1080p
2560×1440 1440p
3200×1800 None; use 3200×1800
3840×2160 4K
5120×2880 5K

Money & Prices

Use whole dollar amounts for customer-facing pricing and copy. Only use cents once taxes and/or shipping get involved (where we can’t round them to the dollar).

Third-Party Brand Names

NVIDIA should always be written as NVIDIA in both component names and general copy. Intel should include the registered symbol (®, ®) i.e. Intel® in tech specs and catalog product option descriptions, but not in component names or general copy.

The System76 HIG is heavily influenced by elementary. For anything not covered in this document, refer to the elementary HIG.