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Platforms

Desktop is built using Electron, which allows it to be cross-platform. With Electron, it’s possible to implement anything that can be implemented on github.com, and more. For example, in the future, multiple desktop windows could be part of the app experience. Though Electron enables a cross-platform app, there are a few key differentiating features between macOS and Windows that need to be considered when designing for GitHub Desktop.

Button order

macOS

The secondary button is always on the left, whether it’s the default or cancel, and the primary action is on the right. This is aligned with the Primer guidelines used on github.com.

Example: "Cancel | Let’s Do This"

Windows

The default button is always on the far right and the primary action is on the left. This differs from the Primer guidelines and should be taken into consideration for Windows users.

Example: "Let’s do this | Cancel"

Capitalization

macOS

Title case is used for headlines and buttons. This is different from Primer guidelines, so it needs to be taken into consideration.

Example: "Current Repository"

Windows

Sentence case is used for headlines and buttons, which is aligned with Primer guidelines.

Example: "Current repository"

macOS

The menu bar on macOS sits at the top of the screen, disconnected from the GitHub Desktop window. The system menu bar is used.

Windows

The menu bar on Windows sits directly on top of the GitHub Desktop UI, with no separation or ability to disconnect it. The menu bar is a custom design, so when considering changing elements in the topbar (the top of the Desktop interface), consider the Windows menu bar in relation.