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Should I write "." at the end of messages displayed to the user in my mobile Android application?

For example:

High bandwidth required, switch to WiFi.

or

High bandwidth required, switch to WiFi

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    Not android-specific, but when I don't see a full-stop at the end of a message I usually think that the text overflew and is wrapped but the label isn't large enough to show it, and then I just keep wondering. Probably bad UX.
    – Alvin Wong
    May 13, 2013 at 15:29
  • Personally, I would say that by including the fullstop it is showing that you are clear with your error, your sentence has ended - as has the message. One more character isn't going to affect bandwidth or display so I would recommend going with it.
    – crmpicco
    May 13, 2013 at 16:42

3 Answers 3

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If you are writing prose, a . (full stop) is there to show a the end of a sentence so that you know when the next one starts. If you only have one sentence, then it isn't strictly necessary for clarity. Hence, if it's a short notification message of only one sentence, you can leave it out.

That said you should keep to the style guides given for your mobile platform. Android for example includes them in the examples in their Design Guide.

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I recommend keeping the . unless you have a good reason to leave it out.

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    Update: Google's Material Design recommends skipping unnecessary punctuation: "To help readers scan text at a glance, avoid using punctuation in places where it isn't necessary. ... Avoid using periods on solitary sentences within these UI elements: ... Hover text, Bulleted lists, Dialog body text"
    – Adam Kis
    Oct 20, 2021 at 14:38
  • @AdamKis Google's "style" changes from time to time. But it still holds that if a period / full stop detracts, from your goals, then leave it out, and if not, leave it in - regardless of whatever style guide says.
    – JohnGB
    Oct 30, 2021 at 10:28
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I am not sure if this question is duplicate, but You can find the answer here: Periods at the end of a sentence in alert message

"If it's a proper sentence, give it proper punctuation" - DA01

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Google's Material design recommends no punctuation in solitary sentence at most places.

More info: https://material.io/design/communication/writing.html#principles

Section "Skip unnecessary punctuation"

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  • you're confusing "whatever Google does" with "good UX". Often Google makes changes that are in fact poorer UX. Take a look at the recent Android design changes that make UX worse in favour of a slightly more consistent look.
    – JohnGB
    Oct 30, 2021 at 10:30
  • Yes, Google is absolutely not perfect. I was also not suggesting this is how it should be done. I said that in Google's Material Design, they recommend doing it like this.
    – Adam Kis
    Nov 2, 2021 at 6:25
  • Apple uses this: ...Whenever possible, keep titles to a single line. If the title is a complete sentence, use sentence-style capitalization and appropriate ending punctuation. If the title is a sentence fragment, use title-style capitalization and don’t add ending punctuation. link
    – Adam Kis
    Nov 2, 2021 at 6:27
  • Also the original question was about an Android application so I'd say following the Material Design guidelines would be a good idea if there are no app specific indications against it.
    – Adam Kis
    Nov 2, 2021 at 12:48
  • questions are always taken in a generic context. We don't answer app, or software specific questions as that is a slippery road to go down. I would recommend following any specific guidelines from Apple or Google, unless you have a good UX reason not to.
    – JohnGB
    Nov 3, 2021 at 12:18

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