I am currently working on a diagnostics report that will output a green string of text if the test passed and a red string of text if it failed.

However, the user is only ever going to be running this test as either a check or to see what has failed. Therefore I am inquiring if it is a user experience principle to make the failure string more apparent to the user (through something subtle like making it bold). A difference in color already communicates a difference between the results but should I go further?

Here is what the strings look like on their web page:

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Your current design is obvious enough. Your audience will know what the icons/colour difference mean so anything added to this will be little overwhelming.

In terms of the order, if these jobs are performed in a certain order then you'd be best to display the Passed/Failed jobs in that order. That way, the user will know where in the process there was an error.

  • Thank you for your insight, they are already performed and displayed on order so I will leave it be.
    – fwr nr
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 15:45
  • 1
    Sometimes it's easy to over complicate something that already works well. There is always a more optimal way but then we go into the realms of testing etc which might be going too far this.
    – sclarke
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 16:10

I agree with sclarke's answer that your current design is obvious enough (with a "bonus point" for including ticks and crosses which will help anyone who is red/green colour-blind).

However, especially if there are quite a few tests – where there is a possibility that a failed test at the end of the list may get overlooked – then I offer a couple of suggestions.

  • If the order of the tests – or more importantly the order of the results of the tests – isn't especially important, you might consider splitting the list in two and listing Failed Tests followed by Successful Tests. Ensuring failed tests are listed first makes them (almost) impossible to miss.

  • If the order of the tests/results does have meaning (e.g., if where in a sequence of tests a test fails is as, or more, important than simply the fact that it failed), then instead you might have a summary above the detailed list along the lines of 1 test failed. 13 tests passed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.