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I am developing a web application that, in a nutshell, does the following: it takes something from A, does an operation with it and place the output in B, just like a converter. This process can be replicated in a way that, at a given moment, several operations are running.

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From this description, three types of information were defined:

  • Progress (dynamic)

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  • Notification (static)

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  • Action (interactive)

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So my question is the following: can I mix these three types of information into one single screen? Something like a wall, a dynamic list of processes, notifications and actions that can be filtered according to its type?

Someone suggested me this, but I keep getting the feeling that it's wrong to mix things that are different and that deserve different attention. On the other side, having all the information in a single place (and with filters) would centralize all the information that user needs to know in one single place.

I've also seen that Android does something similar. It has simple notifications, notifications with actions and ongoing notifications, as you can see here.

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So what is your opinion about this?

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1 Answer

I am not sure if I got the answer correct but your outline of 3 possible notifications are nice and well formed. You could display each individual type of notification depending on the current state of the action being performed, which, would be:

  • When uploading, show the upload progress bar with percentage
  • When errors, display the errors and allow the user to redo it.
  • When done, show it was done successfully
  • When in need to provide extra details to an action, allow the user to solve the issue.

Those notifications wouldn't show up altogether, not mixing them, but each one at a particular period of time, and, depending on the situations you go from type 1, to type 2, then type 1 again and then type 3.

It could be that you go also from type 1 to type 3 and in another case, from type 1 to type 3 then type 4 to proceed with another flow of actions that the user could perform. (aka, uploading several items).

I could also see upload with variations of notifications, but, other notifications being separated from the upload context, and if necessary they could appear simultaneously, because one is particular to the upload, and another would be particular to other actions your application will be doing eventually.

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