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137

When we’re dealing with Banking and money transfer, it is an exceptionally bad idea. Finance isn’t supposed to be funny, since it’s a very serious business. Instead, error messages should be clear and to the point what is actually wrong, and not some random fun message. When a user receives an error message, she/he is already under pressure, since users ...


85

A better modification of such a statment which I see being used is: 'A company_name employee will never ask for your password' This message alerts the user that if the person is asking for a password, there is something fishy and he should alert the concerned authorities immediately. With all the live chat functionalities that most industries are ...


58

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that." That scene from 2001: A space odyssey is a good example for why this can be a dangerous practice. Beware of anthropomorphising a computer to the point where the user starts ascribing malice to it. Error messages need to be non-personal to avoid the user feeling like the computer is complaining at them, or ...


55

Personalisation Igor. Content personalisation can be appropriate at times, like in an email or after login. Amongst a few, it makes the system appear more 'human', and can facilitate some personal 'bond' with the user. But one can argue that by attaching a name to a notification you won't achieve that (I see proper personalisation as real user-dependent ...


45

Most security breaches are from social engineering, and so telling someone that they should never under any circumstances give anyone their password is an attempt to increase security. I would suggest a statement more like: If anyone asks you for your password, you should assume they are a criminal and report it immediately! Idea provided by @Kaz As ...


42

Answer "No". "Successfully" can be removed: Joel Spolsky covered this issue very well here: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0000000062.html The basic rule of thumb is that: "In fact, users don't read anything. This may sound a little harsh, but you'll see, when you do usability tests, that there are quite a few users who simply do ...


39

I would say that you can make the error messages more personal and "human sounding" without resorting to trying to be funny. For example, a message that says "Error processing transaction" can be translated to "We are very sorry, but something went wrong." "We are very sorry, but something went wrong and we did not send this transaction." They key ...


38

There are two big problems, from an internationalization perspective: How sure are you that your Name data contains the name the user is called by? Getting your name data format correct is a classically difficult problem. As soon as you add name wildcards to your error messages, they will become much more difficult to translate to other languages. Without ...


29

The convention is that the question mark indicates extensive help is available, provides an interface for someone having a problem to click, and implies that a more sophisticated means of resolving the problem is being offered. The (i) indicates only that some additional explanatory information is available, but not an extensive help system. Think of an ...


23

It currently accounts for about 20% of the activity on the site. The fact that 20% of the activity on your site is private messaging indicates that your users consider private messaging to be of high value. So, you should be hesitant to remove it. Even if private messaging is not directly of benefit to your community, it still provides increased ...


22

Anything the user will take for granted should fade away. For example: Message has been sent after clicking "send" Item has been deleted after clicking "delete" Contact has been added after clicking "add" Items that should remain visible are mission only critical things like: Incoming call (someone is waiting for you on the other end and needs your ...


17

I vote A. I read the result/s initially as result per second. Result(s) seems more natural, but I would prefer the option were you'd detect if the number is larger than 1 and change result to results. Maybe take a look here: english.stackexchange here the (s) seems to be the standard. Another option is to put it like this: Matching results: 1 With ...


17

If you are writing prose, a . (full stop) is there to show a the end of a sentence so that you know when the next one starts. If you only have one sentence, then it isn't strictly necessary for clarity. Hence, if it's a short notification message of only one sentence, you can leave it out. That said you should keep to the style guides given for your ...


17

There is another issue with the word "successful" that I experienced in our SaaS. We provide a function in our application, where you can send stuff via email. However, the only thing we do is to send the email. The message used to be "Email successfully sent." User feedback then made us realize that they got the message more or less wrong as they believed ...


16

I'm going to give you a high level answer since everyone else is already tackling the "show one or two messages" part. Don't be one of those apps Instead, here are some counterquestions to possibly affect your design decisions: What percentage of users is going to encounter problems if they don't reboot? Is it worth nagging 100% of your users if <5% ...


15

The only place where you don't use a full stop is in titles (such as in the title bar of a window). In all other cases, you need proper punctuation. Compare it to a book: the title of the book does not end with a period, all sentences inside do end with punctuation. Except the titles of the chapters, which are titles again. I remember in elementary school ...


15

Jakob Nielsen’s F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content references an important tendency of users when reading websites: Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. This initial element forms the F's top bar. You want your user to see the notification, so the top area of the page within that top bar ...


13

When the web was in its dawn in the early 1990's there where a lot of different animated gifs letting the user know the page visited was "under construction". There are numerous examples on any image search, such as this one: Since then, the web have evolved and changed a lot. The under construction sign isn't used and hasn't been used since the late ...


13

Scenario: Your friend's messenger has 'virus' and is sending messages to his contacts. You mark his virus's message as spam. Do you want this to also block your friend? Or, do you just want to mark his message as spam? You see, there are times when you just want to mark a message as spam since it is coming from a known contact. Ignoring an user should ...


12

Punctuation is used to reveal the structure of written text. A period separates sentences in a paragraph. All style guides call for no punctuation in captions, titles, and headings, with the exception of question and exclamation marks. From The Oxford Guide to Style. 2002. Oxford: Oxford University Press: Do not use full point in headlines, column ...


11

The most relevant research I could find on this topic is a little dated. Fundamentally, adding user names to error messages deals with humanizing an interface. In a study of using human faces as part of computer interface [1] (admittedly, a step well beyond just including user names), the researchers found that increasing the humanization of an interface ...


11

I'm going to disagree with the others and say that sometimes the word successfully is meaningful. I agree that in many cases it is redundant and in those cases is not needed, however there are cases where it is useful. Mostly this applies in partial success cases or cases where you may expect an error. For example if you are validating a hard disk, then ...


11

"Funny" error messages in a serious (very serious!) application are likely to come across as tone-deaf at best. Also, bear in mind that an error message might be seen repeatedly. No joke is still funny when you hear it five times in succession and being presented repeatedly with the same attempt at a joke is like being stuck with any person who won't behave ...


10

I was surprised to learn that teenagers share passwords much more than I expected. So maybe for some demographics, it is necessary to reinforce more secure behavior.


9

If it's a proper sentence, give it proper punctuation.


9

Perhaps you could use a balanced tree-like structure that grows outwards at the sides (alternately) as more people join the conversation. Colour code it in vertical strips which each start as a new voice enters - like a piece of colourised vertically annotated choral music (a fugue?). You could maybe tail off a strip once that voice has had its last say so ...


9

(I edited the answer for the sake of clarity) Re-reading your question, it seems you are more after a way to classify messages in categories like Status, Warning and Error. To me those cannot be classified automatically, because knowledge of the business case is necessary to do so. You can maintain a matrix of classification that you will enrich over time. ...


8

Error messages shouldn't go away on their own unless Errors were resolved by User's Input User wanted those error messages to be hidden by clicking a X which an error message may have. If error message is displayed and user makes the same mistake which produces the same error message for the second time, the error message can blink or have a brief color ...


8

We might want to distinct between several types of messages that got confused here: feedback messages in response to user actions, e.g. "form saved" unprovoked events, e.g. "new e-mail", "license expired", etc. system status, e.g. "idle", "processing", "process complete", etc. Each of these have its own conditions and best-practice solutions. 1. ...


8

I would most definitely discourage doing this and apart from the reason already mentioned by Benny, one must always consider the overall personality of brand you represent. An average user has a certain expectations from the kind of application he is using. The definition of user experience is different for him in different types of applications and banking ...



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