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We're discussing having multiple types. For example, one type would appear at the top of the page and drive users to perform another action:

enter image description here

The other type would appear "inside" a submit button (for example). After the users clicks submit, the button label text changes to "success".

My concern is mixing-up various types of messages could be confusing to users. Also, setting expectations to users as to where messages will appear on the page.

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Can you post a mockup of your submit button idea? – Rahul Feb 7 '12 at 21:29
Would you like to have more than one type of confirmation message? Y/N? – Ben Brocka Feb 8 '12 at 3:34
i dont have an example of the submit button, but i have seen it done on other sites. as for wanting more than 1 notification type, some stakeholders think that by using the in-button style (more subtle) for forms (for example) would give more emphasis to the user-prompt style for other actions. – meepsh Feb 8 '12 at 15:22
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, it's absolutely fine to have multiple types of notification messages (not confirmation) on a site as long as all of them are grouped logically/consistently and styled respectively (i.e. different placement of notifications from background processes and foreground ones).

Stack Exchange is the perfect example of good implementation: background actions (such as badges, privileges, or answers posted while you're writing) are presented in the page's header while user-action messages (such as voting, flagging, or editing) are presented at the place of interaction with a bright yellow box.

Example of Stack Exchange's notification of a double vote:
enter image description here

Your example doesn't make it clear where and why the message will appear, so it's hard to judge on the specifics of your situation.

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The answer really depends on what your user data says. If your user research or usability testing indicate that people are constantly missing the feedback the site is giving them, adding more places to show it isn't a bad idea. If you don't have user data (not uncommon), mock some stuff in and do some hallway style usability tests (pick up Rocket Surgery Made Easy for help) to see if your users get it.

All that said, my gut reaction is twofold:

  • The Submit->Success transition is the least likely to be noticed. Likely the user's eyes will go back to the space where the thing they were working on was for some kind of confirmation and not stay on the button (again, user test to be sure about this)
  • If you change "Submit" to "Success" on click, there's actually a chance that the operation could fail on the server side, thus making a liar out of you. If you go this route, make sure you confirm success first before changing the text.
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