UI Label Conventions

The following document outlines how content, labels and messages should be displayed in the OpenLMIS-UI. This guide presents generalizations for how labels should be written and complex workflows should be organized.

Content Conventions

The following are general stylistic rules for the OpenLMIS-UI, which implementers and developers should keep in mind while crafting content.


Titles include page titles, report titles, headings within a page (H2, H3, etc), and the subject line of email notifications. Links in the main navigation menu are generally page titles. Most other strings that appear on-screen are Labels, Buttons or others described further below.

Titles should be written so they describe a specific object and state. If there is a state that is being applied to the object in a title, the state is first in the present tense. The first letter of each word in a title should be capitalized, except for the articles of the sentence. Titles do not contain punctuation.

See APA article about title case for more guidance.

Examples Do: “Initiate Requisition” Do Not: “REQUISITION - INITIATE”


Labels are generally used in form elements to describe the content a user should input. Labels have the first letter of the first word capitalized, and should not have any punctuation such as a colon.

Labels also include table column headers and dividers for sections or categories.

Note: Colons should be added using CSS pseudo-selector, if an implementation requires labels to be formatted with a colon. As a community, we feel that less allows for easier customization.

Example Do: “First name” Do Not: “First Name:”


Buttons should be used to refer to a user taking an action on an object, meaning there should always be a specific verb followed by a subject. Buttons have the first letter of each word capitalized and don’t have any punctuation.

Example Do: “Search Facilities” Do Not: “SEARCH”


Messages represent a response from the system to a user. These strings should be written as a command, where the first word is the action that has happened. The first letter of a message is capitalized, but there is no punctuation.

Example Do: “Failed to save user profile” Do Not: “Saving user profile failed.”


Confirmations are messages shown to the user to confirm that they actually want to take an action. These messages should address the user directly and be phrased as a single sentence.

Example Do: “Are you sure you want to submit this requisition?” Do Not: “Submitting requisition, are you sure? Please confirm.”


Instructions might be placed at the top of a form or after a confirmation to clarify the action a user is taking. These should be written as full paragraphs.

Example Do: “Authorize this requisition to send the requisition to the approval workflow.” Do Not: “Authorize requisition — send to approval workflow”