Thursday January 2nd, 2014 by Björn Balazs and Heiko Tietze
The current HIG advice to align controls independently over groups. In consequence every container has its own, separate alignment. Aurélien Gâteau started the discussion to improve the layout by introducing his ColumnResizer, which is rather a technical point of view but illustrates the problem well: It is easier to scan a dialog that has good visual anchors. It doesn’t matter too much where this anchor is placed but for standardization purpose we need to define a layout that is used by default in KDE applications. So we prepared some options presented below.
Option 1: Left align captions
The alignment of groups of widgets is independent, and so you may have different sized groups with different “centered” lines. A group of widgets consists of widgets within some type of natural separation such as a group box or separator bar. (This is the legacy guideline.)
Option 2: Center align controls
Use a central visual anchor that makes the space to left and right equal.
Option 3: Left align controls
Left align controls over multiple groups. The largest caption defines the position of controls.
Actually, this alignment is similar to the above with centered controls if the groups are sized according their content, as requested.
Option 4: Right align controls
Right align controls over multiple groups.
And now its up to you…
Please vote. If none of our ideas makes sense and you have a better proposal, please let us know and discuss it below (download our mockup made with Balsamiq if you want to hack it).