Is is appropriate to put '!' at the end of validation message?

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It is good to use short and direct message such as "xxx required" or "Enter xxx" right ?

  • Please limit your questions to one question per post; in this case I'd recommend keeping the exclamation point question as CrisF has a pretty good answer there, and "Should I use short messages" could use a bit more fleshing out as a question
    – Ben Brocka
    May 6, 2012 at 15:47

3 Answers 3


I think the exclamation marks are a little harsh considering that the messages are red as well. I also am not fond at all of the short messages, some of them are a little confusing too. I'd also get rid of 'Capital Case' too.

I'm a big fan of this writing style, keep it simple and not too formal.

Enter a first name
Enter a last name
Enter a valid email
Enter a password
Must match the password field
Enter a mobile phone number
  • 1
    Good point about the capital case - I missed that.
    – ChrisF
    May 6, 2012 at 22:53
  • should we put full stop "." at the end of message ? May 8, 2012 at 5:17
  • is it better for "Must match the password field" to use "Enter the same password" instead May 8, 2012 at 5:21
  • 1
    @SarawutPositwinyu I don't put the ending punctuation on messages like this anymore, it isn't really required. Which ever direction you choose, ensure it's consistent throughout the application. 'Enter the same password' is pretty good, as long as it's clear and brief. May 8, 2012 at 6:02

Having an exclamation mark is unnecessary in the message. The messages themselves are fine - short and to the point and don't need the extra emphasis an exclamation mark brings. If you can outlining the text boxes also helps to draw attention to the ones that have errors. It also provides something for a tooltip to be displayed on.

The only time I'd use an exclamation mark would be if space were tight and I needed to display something to show there was an error. The "!" could then be used as a hover target for a tooltip with the actual error.


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Its fine. But not the best method.

Exclamation marks should be reserved for serious errors like, "Oh noes a serious network error has occurred and the application must now be terminated!"

  • 1
    And why is that the case? You need to give solid reasoning and / or evidence to your answers.
    – JonW
    Jan 24, 2014 at 20:29
  • Don't see a reason to downvote this - giving evidence in "user experience" is more like: "i asked 500 users and 300 answered that this is right" - I would support this answer. Exclamation marks should be reserved for serious errors
    – Frame91
    Jan 25, 2014 at 8:22

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