Design Team

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When Sugar Labs was very large, we found it convenient and effective to divide into teams. This was one of the teams.


Design includes user experience, appearance, graphic design, architecture, and code design.

These pages illustrated the design vision for Sugar. Many of the ideas had been incorporated into Sugar. Some were deprecated and some have yet to be realized. Browse these pages to get a general understanding of the rational behind the Sugar user experience, but be aware that there is not necessarily a direct correspondence to the current implementation.

The Features section of the wiki contains specific requests to incorporate new design features into Sugar releases.

Much of this content was developed during the collaboration between the One Laptop per Child Sugar Team, Pentagram, and Red Hat in 2006/2007. Eben Eliason was the primary author of many of these pages, but is no longer actively involved in the project.


The mission of the Design Team was to make Sugar beautiful, elegant, and highly functional for our target users.

Human Interface Guidelines

The Sugar Human Interface Guidelines provide insight into the design of the Sugar experience, as well as guidelines for designing custom icons, controls, and activity interfaces.

Table of Contents
Core Ideas
Design Fundamentals Know Your Audience Key Design Principles
The Laptop Experience Introduction Zoom Metaphor The Frame Bulletin Boards The Journal View Source Global Search
Activities Introduction Activity Basics Activity Bundles
The Sugar Interface Input Systems Layout Guidelines Icons Colors Text and Fonts Toolbars Rollovers Controls Cursor


The Design Team also maintains a list of specifications which provide additional details regarding the appearance and behavior of various software features. The specifications page is empty at present, but will be populated soon with preliminary specs for a number of features either currently implemented or planned for upcoming releases.


The Design Team manages a series of Design "slideshows" which illustrate various parts of the interface and how they function in a typical workflow.