I have a web application that performs background jobs triggered by the user.

Typically, a user can have 5 to 10 background jobs running at a time. A background job will run from 15 seconds to a number of minutes. The user can continue with the app for other tasks while the background jobs are computed.

  1. Where would you recommend providing feedback to the user on the status of the background jobs? In a special tab or menu? Or in a kind of banner – for example, at the top of the screen?
  2. What would be a good strategy to show the status of a background job that has completed? For example, when a job is completed, should the user click a button acknowledging the completion? Or something else?
  • A good interface is Adobe InDesign's. That with the ability to dock is pretty close to ideal imo. Please don't make me clear each job manually, or if you do, also give me a "clear all" button and/or a timeout setting after which they disappear. Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:46
  • Do users need feedback for both positive AND negative statuses? For example, if you only need to flag things that fail, the answer to question 1 might be different than if you are required to show status for all outcomes. Question 2 could be dependant on question 1, but generally I think you need to consider your business/audience. For example, are there business policies or regulatory/compliance reasons why you need to have a user manually acknowledge the finished status? Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:46
  • @LukeSawczak Thanks for the feedback. Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:48
  • @dom_ahdigital User needs to have feedbacks for both succeeding and failing jobs. For failing jobs, he will have to modify some parameters and rerun those (exceptional cases). For succeeding jobs, the user will follow on performing subsequent tasks (that can't be performed without job completion). Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


I would recommend a notification icon in the toolbar that flags up to the user every time there are new notifications.

Upon clicking the notification icon a drawer could slide open to show the newest notifications split by success and failure. The notifications are automatically marked as 'read' and the notification icon returns to it's default state.

The latest 10 (or whatever) entries in the notification drawer could remain there, with some infinite scroll/load more functionality to see results from older tasks. An additional button should be available to clear away all old results.

enter image description here


It highly depends on the complexity of the application & the audience you are catering to. Is this a B2B enterprise application with a lot of elements & a busy screen? Is the user's cognitive ability overloaded? The solution can be a range of UX elements, from a separate notification tab as mentioned above to a small modal that is placed in a low-attention area right down to smaller indicators on the screen that anchor to other contextually meaningful elements (for e.g. a red dot anchored to an Android app)

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.