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I want to display a message after the user makes a bartering decision:

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When the user accepts the quote, the following message comes up:

Thanks for accepting the quote. A message has been sent to the operator.

When the user rejects the quote, the following message comes up:

Thanks for rejecting the quote. A message has been sent to the operator.

Are these messages appropriate? The second seems a bit off. How can I improve them both to make them more user friendly?

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It is a bit off mostly because of the "Thank you." Pleasantries are nice but not at the expense of clarity. It might be better to have the messages simply confirm what the user has done: "You have rejected the quote." and what is going to happen next: "A message has been sent to the operator."

To the extent that you can test the messages. See how people respond to different phrasing. Even if you can't do formal testing ask as many people as you can, especially non-techy people: ask the HR person, the receptionist, you wife, mother, whoever. You should be able to see that some options work better than others.

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First of, if you could supply a little bit more information to the user that would be great, including a small piece of text indicating what they are doing.

To answer your question, you have a mix up in the language you are using on screen, and the language in the alert / confirmation.

accept The accept should say something like,

thank you for accepting the asking price (or whatever it is called). A confirmation had been send to John. (Note the use of the sellers name.

reject Use the same language as the button / input on screen. It should be something like

you have bartered the price. A confirmation message has been sent to John.

Overall as mentioned, the buttons and information should be reflected in the alerts, so as note to confuse the user, and provide a relationship between what has happened, and what they see on screen.

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Is there a particular reason the user must be informed with a message being sent to the operator?

I would suggest the minimalist approach. Example:

When the user accepts the quote, the following message comes up:

Quote Accepted.

When the user rejects the quote, the following message comes up:

Quote Rejected

  • I am not sure why this answer was downvoted. It's not only a reasoned answer but also a common design pattern. Users are frequently notified with a confirmation but not notified about messages to a vendor (eg OpenTable, Hotels.com, and countless others). Would the downvoter please reconsider or explain. Btw welcome to UX SE Jessica, don't let this discourage you. – tohster Mar 8 '15 at 17:56

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