Krita UI Redesign

Hey guys,

I really hope this doesn’t violate the majority-Krita-used guidelines because I’m creating this in Inkscape :sweat_smile: :cry: But I hope there’s an allowance because this is Krita-focused!

I’ve been having a think about how Krita’s UI could be improved to make tools and functions more legible and accessible, so I’ve started a mockup of these ideas!

I’ve never done mockups really before, so this is an interesting challenge.

I will explain my reasonings and changes in a later post, once I’ve covered basic additions like icons etc.

The faded dockers are still in progress, establishing a simple shape language is hard :neutral_face:

Feel free to add suggestions!


I would not like the design anyway. I actually prefer it close to the way it is as I do painting or editing on Krita, and the way it is right now is just right. But, I wouldn’t complain about popout toolbox sections. That’s something I’m supportive of.

However, I will admit this might be useful for mobile interface.


The popout toolbox sections are good, like sliding drawers.

Add: I drive my MATE desktop using popout toolbars with sliding drawers :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the advice guys!

Yea, I think the pop outs could help for beginners especially, if you’re spending a lot of time scanning the tool bar for the right tool.

That would be a good use for it! I sort of had a touchscreen response situation in mind when I was doing this :grin:

Seems like a great idea!

No problem on that front. I think this can be in the #develop:artists-feedback-testing category since you are giving a feedback and also providing a mock-up.

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Cheers for that!

Borrowing Blender’s workspaces idea is genius. There will be some technical issues but I guess we can easily figure that out.

I don’t think I’ll like rounded edges on dockers :frowning: I know it’s maybe bikeshedding, but it kinda looks cheap to me. Like an app that is so user-friendly that you have three buttons on it and nothing more, so it makes everything look cool to hide that.

For the tools-hidden-behind-others, I believe there are some strong opinions against it. Also @hellozee was making a programmed mockup like that, so there are also opinions in favour :stuck_out_tongue:

Toolbar will be tricky, because right now you can configure it quite a lot, so there might not be such a clear division into two parts. Also what about multiple documents? Like, a lot multiple? Or even 5, 6?


I personally can’t stand excessive semi-transparent workspace-overlapping UIs…the viewport/canvas showing through just makes it harder to use.
Blender pushes it pretty far, but still does have its dedicated UI areas, and the HUD elements are either completely opaque or just slightly transparent.

The workspace swicher is an interesting idea though, I mostly neglected workspaces so far. Maybe it could help my issue that I just too often have to switch tabs of various stacked dockers, but I’m not convinced yet that any dockers I keep around would really be exclusinve to a workspace I’d use.

Speaking of Blender, to me its HUD often feels like it just is to remind me of all the tools. Not knowing all the keyboard shortcuts by heart makes you work really slowly, because working your way through the HUD menu layers, often with lots of similar looking icons, is not efficient, so I bet “power users” have most of the HUD hidden.

But that’s what the HUD does well, showing all the stuff that actually is relevant for the current context. The number of Krita features many people don’t even know about because they never really show up anywhere is quite long I guess…and I myself keep forgetting some because I just use them too rarely.


Thanks for the feedback guys!

Thanks for noticing! I think it would be a quicker way to navigate, considering the current scroll option is very tedious if the two workspaces you use are far away from each other.

Oh no! But on second thought I think you’re right. That set up might be better suited to a tablet interface.

Perhaps there can be an option to define which toolbar you’d like? My main idea for this was to decrease the screen space of the toolbar, which again, might be more suited for tablets.

I think you’re right on that one, I was trying to break it up into related segments, but I’ll rework that!

This is where I was considering swapping the ‘Workspaces’ and ‘Documents’ section, sort of functioning like a web explorer with tabs at the top. Thoughts?

Oh no again! You are correct I think. I had an idea where the transparent area acted like frosted glass, but I agree it’s simpler to keep opaque.

I use both the Paint and Animation workspaces, so it’s an essential for me!

I think that’s very true, are there any features that you constantly look for in the menus? Or I might have to ask a beginner user of Krita for that one.

In this respect, I’m wondering if there are any ‘workspace-specific’ tools that can be present on HUD? Or maybe the ‘Tool Options’ Docker can act like a HUD at the top, similar to how Photoshop works?

I know there is already a setting to place it in the tool bar, but that seems inefficient, as you have to click it to see all the options, instead of having them arranged across the tool bar.

I see there are a lot of things to manage with this UI, time to rework it :grin:!

Thanks again

I rarely change workspaces but when I do then I use one of my custom workspaces. Could the visible workspace tabs be selectable, possibly from option/tick boxes in the main workspace management panel?

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Great, thanks for this work, and keep on going :slight_smile:
I really like making krita ui more similar to blender - krita has this potential of becoming the same thing to 2D that blender was for 3D, and changes like that could help to show that.

And as krita is going mobile, some general ui changes might be necessary somewhere in the future.
I love the idea of blender workspaces, some roundness in toolbar is quite nice, maybe it wouldn’t be bad for floating dockers (though it’s not working that well on docked dockers or color selector, as some noticed before), sliders look nice.
I don’t like the gaps between docked dockers, as they create a bit of visual chaos, that drives eye to those places. Ability to dock something on a side and make it fill only a part of vertical space, could be my little hint I guess (right now it requires floating docker which sometimes causes problem with display).

For multiple documents - remember that krita also has a popular subwindow mode, wihch allows to display multiple documents at once. Those would also need some redesign and simplification (like hiding subwindow topbar when your cursor is not there for example).

Good luck with your redesign - it may be useful somewhere in the future when developers will have time for those kind of things. And as we are talking about UI - here is my little ‘bump’ of @Rakurri proposition - just removing this one line could make krita look so much modern without that much work :smiley:

Keep it up!


The weight of opinions against it, is more, btw, :laughing:
Anyway, if someone is interested, here is a somewhat interactive mockup I made up a few months ago,


Ok, now I badly want it in krita :smiley:


I think that’s a great idea! It would give you more freedom to customise certainly :grin:.

This is what I have been thinking for a long time!! I have spent some time thinking about the success of Blender, and I think an important factor was the suite-like nature of the program.

Essentially, all the tools for 3D creation are at your disposal; sculpting, modelling etc., and with tailored workspaces for each! If Krita could accommodate a larger 2D pipeline, for animation or texture creation etc., then I think it could reach a larger audience! I know the primary focus of Krita is on painting, but I hope that enables rather than hinders the addition of integrated workspaces for other 2D fields :slightly_smiling_face:.

I’ll rework that :wink:

Yes I have used it a few times! But I don’t really use it often, mainly because of my workflow but also because of how the windows are hard to access and navigate. But I will have a look at it!

I agree, considered simplicity is key :slightly_smiling_face:

That looks incredible! I love the design of the mouse-over popup, and how there is text to show the name of the tool! Gives me ideas…

There’s always going to be a trade-off in the process, it would be great to have this as an alternative! Particularly adapted for tablet UI, as has been mentioned before.

Awesome feedback everyone!

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Also, I didn’t know you could download the Krita icons! But I don’t know which file they are under, could someone show me the directory?

I’ve been making them all from scratch so far :sweat_smile:

I think you can find them here:



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Oh thanks aha, is it best if I just download the full library, since the previews for each icon aren’t shown?

Yes, it will be easier to see them if you have them locally on your computer

If you don’t want to download all the source code, you can download the directory:


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Cheers for that! Does that include the toolbox icons? I can’t seem to find them there.