I was wondering what strategies can be used to temporarily highlight a tab. With temporarily I mean change its appearance for a week or month or so to notify that something on that tab has changed.

Additionally, I was wondering how the strategy may differ depending on the type of change. Maybe if there is a big new feature you want to emphasize it a lot, although in my particular case I only want to give the user a little nudge.

In my case the tabs look like the picture below, but I'm happy to have a more general answer.

enter image description here

I'm not to keen on changing the background colour as it may confuse on which is the active tab and was thinking more in the direction of an asterisk or something.

  • Is this change something the user just needs to view once, or is there an action they need to attend to?
    – Mike M
    Mar 26, 2020 at 14:32
  • @MikeM There's no action that they need to attend to, it's mostly to make them aware that some thing in the tab has changed. The tab is usually not viewed often (as there is no big need to), so I just want to let the user know they might want to check it out again.
    – bobbel
    Mar 27, 2020 at 7:04

1 Answer 1


A different-styled tab communicates, "This section is structurally different or more important than the others", vs. "there's something new here to look at".

A better way to temporarily emphasize something new would be a tool tip pointing to it. Make sure the user can dismiss it. Here's an example.

enter image description here

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