I am currently on a project that uses a Subversion Back End to commit/revert/lock content. Right now, I am trying to find a way to communicate to the user when a revert fails, why it failed. Currently, the design has either a check mark icon if it successfully reverted and an "x" if it failed. If the user wants more information about the failure, they have to click on the "x" icon. What I am trying to do is find a better way of telling the user why it failed in a non-intrusive way that encourages them to click the "x" icon (if that is even the solution).

Things to know about the current state of the design:

  • 2 columns, the file name and the status (a checkmark or "x")
  • Multiple files can be reverted at a time
  • If the file was successfully reverted, a check mark shows, but it is not clickable. We believed that the abstraction of the operation of "reverting" means that we don't need to show the revision number to the user and keep it less confusing.
  • When reverting a file...
    • If it has not been committed yet and is reverted, the file is deleted and no revision number is recorded it was never committed to the repo in the first place
    • If it has been committed previously, it is reverted to the last "approved" revision by the editors and then recommitted (Ex: r1 was approved, r2 - r3 were committed but in a review state, but the file was reverted back to its r1 state and recommitted showing up as r4 in the repo).

enter image description here

  • Do you have any wireframes which will help show the visual layout better. If you are not able to post it due to the rep restrictions, host it to some image sharing site and add the link to the question and someone with sufficient rep will add it to the question for you.
    – Mervin
    Feb 25, 2014 at 19:53
  • I am updating the question with the screenshot from imgur
    – Kevin
    Feb 25, 2014 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


I would recommend a simple approach where you show an error or warning icon with a notification on top of it. Here is a rough mockup :


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

This ties in very similar to notification panel used by Facebook and informs the user that there is a message or notification he should read to get additional details as shown below

enter image description here

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