My Mac OS X software has complex configuration. The software does its best to auto-configure and to help the user through the process. However external components can change THEIR configuration, which requires my software to change.

My software detects these problems. What is a pleasant way of informing the user that these problems exist and must be addressed?

If context helps, the software is Poker Copilot.

Here is a screenshot showing what I currently do. It's the pink-background section: enter image description here


What you have seems pleasant enough.

Assuming that you've disabled the options that can't work or (at the very least) display the same error when they try to use the options then this should be OK.

You could try replacing the "More Info..." with "How to fix..." (or words to that effect). At the moment it's not clear (to me) what I'd need to do to sort out the problem.

If you having problems with people not noticing the message then making it larger and a more vibrant colour (the usual caveats on not relying on colour cues apply here) might help. Also using a consistent icon might help as well. Here you are using the yellow warning icon for what appears to be an error. Use a more standard error icon.

  • 1
    Agree with all of this with one additional comment - if this is a warning, there should be the ! yellow sign with a yellow comment. If it is an error, I think it should be a red icon with the pink background as shown above.
    – Nic
    Mar 8 '12 at 17:48
  • Given the text in the error message, I personally prefer "More info" to "How to fix", especially since it isn't clear (at least to me as a non-user) why the application needs me to do give it more access.
    – cdeszaq
    Mar 8 '12 at 18:47
  • @cdeszaq - I guess that's largely down to personal preference and your target audience.
    – ChrisF
    Mar 8 '12 at 22:05

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