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Design guidelines for DHIS2
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DHIS2 Design System

The DHIS2 Design System is a collection of design principles and a library of UI components for designing apps for the DHIS2 platform. Using this system you can design and build apps that are usable, powerful and consistent with other DHIS2 apps.

The design system consists of two sections:

  • Principles: These principles are the guidelines that inform how DHIS2 apps should work and look. All designers and developers working on DHIS2 apps should be familiar with these guidelines.
  • Components: A collection of UI elements that can be, and should be, reused across all DHIS2 apps. The components have been designed with DHIS2 use cases in mind. Using these components means more time spent focusing on building a great user experience and less time redesigning and rebuilding common components. Each component has it's own guidelines for use.

Design System Contents
Using the system

Design Principles


Each component has guidelines for use, explanations of the different options and types available and examples of how the component is used in real DHIS2 apps. Components are organised by usage.


Data display

Data entry





Designing DHIS2 apps

Want to get started designing and building DHIS2 apps? Follow these steps:

1. Get to know the Design System principles

It is important to be familiar with the principles of the design system. These principles cover how apps should work and look. It is important that all apps are built with the principles in mind, when all DHIS2 apps follow the same principles it becomes easier for all users to work across multiple apps without needing to relearn patterns or meanings.

2. Understand the use case

Before starting on the design of a DHIS2 app it is important that you research and understand the use case. What will this app enable users to do? Why is this app useful? What will the app not do? It is important that DHIS2 apps solve real use cases in a simple, manageable way. The most useful apps are the ones that do few things very well. Make sure apps are focused on these use cases.

Understanding the use case before starting on the design and building will save time later. It is much easier to make changes to draft ideas than finished apps.

3. Design with components

When the use cases are clear and all the requirements are understood it is time to start designing mockups/prototypes of the app. Building prototypes and mockups first means you can test these with potential users, finding out what works and what needs to be revised.

Where possible, always use components available from the design system component library. These components have been designed and built with DHIS2 in mind. The pages for each component below have guidelines for use and explanations of the options and types available. Reading through the component pages will help to understand which components should be used where, and why.


All components included in the design system will soon be available as a Sketch library that can be imported and reused across your designs.

Downloadable library coming soon!

Contributing and Feedback

Contributing to the design system

Contributions to the design system are welcome. If there is a component that you have designed and/or built that you think could be useful for others, please send it in! A component can be detailed using the example template, and a PR can be opened for submission.

The DHIS2 Design System is based upon principles of Atomic Design. Submitted components should follow this system, using existing atoms and molecules to compose new components where possible.

Feedback and issues

Open an issue to contribute feedback regarding a component in the design system. Feedback is always appreciated and helps to make the design system more robust and powerful.

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