For a given alert/error message, a version that specified why it was happening and how it can be resolved tested the best on desktop. The current message is 173 characters long (including spaces). But trying to bring that same into the native app version of the website seems too long.

Is there research that compares messages being shown for desktop vs. mobile (specifically native apps)?

There's always a case for consistency but I feel that desktop sometimes allows for a longer message to be displayed without it seeming verbose.

2 Answers 2


The current message is 173 characters long

That is pretty much for a notification message in my opinion, does it have to be that long? Can it be shortened?

There's always a case for consistency

You can achieve consistency by shortening the length of the message to something that fits good on mobile as well as desktop and gives out enough information.

One tip to achieve good alert messages is to be short and meaningful.


I've had to deal with this same issue on our platform (responsive web app). Ideally, your admin tool for the notification would be able to target each breakpoint and deliver specific max chars for each. That obviously won't work if its the same message being delivered from the back-end.

One solution we implemented was to define the max chars on mobile-web first, then we increased the font size of this message on larger breakpoints to balance the space. In theory, this works, but Marketing always ignores the max char count and blows up the banner. So make sure your admin tool actually limits the char count (if you have one).

Another solution would be to simply introduce truncation, which is often not ideal and would require a clear link or call-to-action associated with the message, OR expand an accordion to see the full message.

I'd like to hear what others are doing about this scenario!

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