Hot answers tagged

169

Don't write error messages blaming the user. There is no actual benefit to you from doing this. In the event that someone accidentally triggers these error messages, you damage your relationship with them. Even if you do manage to tell a single malicious user that you know they're malicious, it isn't going to make them like you any better. All you're ...


136

Tickers are like carousels, but worse. Since you're asking for disadvantages, tickers are an antipattern because: The content is unpredictable for users. Users don't know how large the content is, what order it appears in, where it starts or ends, and how long it will take to read all of it. It either scrolls too slow or too fast. If a reader is focused ...


105

Mostly it’s crying wolf. Ninety-nine percent of the time the user selects the command, that’s exactly what they mean to do, so they very quickly get in the habit of smacking the OK button without more than a glance at the message. Designers don’t help the situation often providing vague, incomplete, or jargony messages, so that if users do take the time to ...


74

In situations where consequences may be truly disastrous you may copy this idea from github: Dangerous actions are marked (red bar in background), user is forced to read this box and it is verified as simply punching button is not enough. Note that using it for anything less than "nuke big collection of data" used once a year will result in furious users.


57

Let them know what has happened. Here are some situations with longer, clear example notifications that use proper English grammar: Only the name changed The task "foobar" has been successfully renamed to "dummy". Only the data changed The task "foobar" has been successfully updated. The name and the data changed The task "foobar" has been ...


53

A Toast is a non modal, unobtrusive window element used to display brief, auto-expiring windows of information to a user. Android OS makes relatively heavy use of them. Here's an example of a Google Chrome toast notification on Mac OS X: A list of descriptions of Toast windows on multiple platforms: Android Microsoft


47

This is just my opinion, but it's an answer. Tickers, or marquees, where you see them, tend to inhabit small spaces. Whether that's across the front of a cinema, the back of a police car or on a train station sign. In the real world they offer an advantage in that they can display more information than the display can statically display, but in a smaller, ...


29

To the question of: How do I keep the user aware of important events without innundating them? Make sure your updates are meaningful. UAC, TOS', and EULA's are constantly skipped over because they don't provide meaningful content to their user. UAC, for many, is simply annoying - users feel that they shouldn't be warned every time they want to do ...


28

Put on a song that you know, and have someone hit pause and play at random times, then have them randomly turn the volume up and down. Lowering the volume, rather than pausing the music, is less disruptive to the user. Your brain can fill in the gaps in music they are listening to if they are even somewhat familiar with it (it's why people can listen to ...


27

Pop-unders suck. The Internet has been awash with hate for them since their inception. But you know that, you need data. Research has shown that pop-under ads are almost indistinguishable from pop-up ads (pdf source), and are actually worse than pop-up ads in terms of intrusiveness in tests vs in-line ads. Emphasis mine: Pop-under ads were ...


27

Did you consider the Facebook approach? Facebook shows all new notifications under one label that shows the amount of new notifications as a number: "34 new notifications", the red label on the globe icon. As soon as users CLICK the globe, users get to see all of the new notifications, while previous ones are also shown, with the difference of being a ...


26

The first thing you have to find out is, if it's really a troll. Your Contact Form and Feedback Form examples have nothing to do with trolls. It's just a feedback message. The third example sounds like a hacker or script kiddie who's trying something, also no troll. So for the first two examples, choose a error message that tells what to do, but does not ...


26

Let me post an answer contrary to existing ones. A "login successful" message is not just unnecessary but it's also wrong. Why Unnecessary Think if objects/devices you use in everyday life will give you feedback each time you use them: "OK, you're using right key, you can turn the car's engine on", "Welcome back Adriano, this is your house", "Your PIN is ...


25

There is a very simple rule that I use for myself: Error messages must not display error messages, they must display a solution message. The user does not care what is wrong and why, he simply wants the issue solved.


25

The reason no one knows what an "AD credential" is (unlike, say, a Google account), is that AD is not anything in its own right (to end users). It's just an implementation of a log in that is used for something user facing. You should tell the user to log in to whatever the user-facing thing is. e.g. "Use your standard work log-in". Or whatever fits ...


23

Because the simple system works. You set it when you go to bed, and if you don't want to be woken up the next day, just don't set it. More complicated ones with more features are available if you like, but the common ones do the job in the simplest most intuitive way. Good UX design.


23

How about pushing the development team to use some logic? Based on the selected records - let them switch the string of feedback message. For instance, if the user selects only one record to delete, the system should understand it and show a message as 'The message has been deleted'. If the user selects multiple records to delete, the system should show ...


22

Good, practical question. In my experience with working on a booking platform recently, we touched/worked on this. More thoughts: Why this is probably done: To ensure that the notification reaches the user through some channel or other. There could be cases where a few users ignore SMSs, or a few others do not check emails regularly. Hence, multiple ...


21

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 ...


18

I would say it should get progressively louder. There have been very few times when I have set an alarm with no purpose. However, there have been many times when I have hit the snooze button when I shouldn't have due to poor decision making skills in a semi-sleep state. Trust the alert person setting the alarm, not the half-conscious person trying to ignore ...


18

For what it's worth - I tried a variety of timings myself and ended up at 3200ms for a two line message of up to about 20 words. But I also place a small dot (10px diameter) to the left, which is coloured according to message type (eg red/error, blue/info, orange/warning) and which fades out over the 3200ms. When the fade gets to 100%, the message itself ...


17

You are basically saying "How can I save the user from making bad decisions?" (In this case the bad decision of ignoring an important warning). It's worth noting that this is the same impulse that led to all of those excessive warnings in the first place! The answer is: you can't. If you try to prevent the users from freely choosing to make damaging ...


17

Scrolling text can be a barrier to accessibility, so much so that WCAG requires that you provide a control that allows the user to pause, stop, or hide the moving content (SC 2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide). Content that moves or auto-updates can be a barrier to anyone who has trouble reading stationary text quickly as well as anyone who has trouble ...


14

The first thing to understand is that users don't care about sessions, the session is something you as a developer are forcing onto the user to meet your security/application needs. In an ideal world the session would never expire, like Facebook, Hotmail etc. That said in some situations such as bank sites we still need to expire sessions as we don't want ...


14

I would suggest using a standardised notification at the top of every page. That way you can show any notification you like, or nothing (most of the time). It has become widely used, and you can design it to be very noticeable if you wish. Some examples:


13

The terms I see the most are "message bar", "notify bar" and "notification bar". There are tons of examples with Google using the terms above. Below are a few. 'Notify Bar' plugin Top Floating message box using jQuery jQuery: How to show a message bar at the top of browser window


13

As a corollary to both @tohster and @Matt Obee's very nice answers, there is an additional consideration: Tickers remove control from the person viewing the information Someone who is trying to read content that is presented as a static list can scroll up or down at their own leisure, and are actively engaged in that act. Tickers force whoever is viewing ...


12

You can disable the save button when there is nothing to be saved. You can also change its label from Save to Saved.


12

Every time I have seen them, they have been poorly done and looked suspicious to me. I just assume that there is something sinister going on like key logging or something like that (not even sure if that's possible but I err on the side of caution). I often think that the reason they are behind the window is so that they can do whatever they need to do ...


12

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. ...



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