< KDE Visual Design Group | HIGRevision as of 12:21, 30 March 2016 by Ochurlaud (talk | contribs) (16 revisions imported)(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff) Purpose If the processing has reached an unexpected condition that needs interaction, a disruptive message alerts the user of a problem. Not any disruptive message concerns a serious problem. Sometimes, the user is just notified that proceeding is dangerous. A typical example is the “Save changes before closing?” alert box that appears when a user tries to close a module with modified content. The adequate presentation method for disruptive information is a modal message dialog. A modal dialog is a secondary window that interrupts user's current activity and blocks interaction until user either simply acknowledge the information by clicking Ok or decides how to proceed (e.g. Yes/No). Effective error messages inform users that a problem occurred, explain why it happened, and provide a solution so users can fix the problem. Users should either perform an action or change their behavior as the result of an error message. Modal dialogs are error-prone. An alert dialog that appears unexpectedly or which is dismissed automatically (because the user has developed a habit) will not protect from the dangerous action. Examples Guidelines Is this the right control Avoid disruptive messages; workflow maintenance and, therefore, the prevention of errors should be the primary objective. Use modal dialogs only for critical or infrequent, one-off tasks that require completion before continuing. Don’t use modal error message dialogs at the normal work flow to inform or warn the user. Use message panel for non-critical messages which do not require any further user interaction (typically dialogs with a single "OK" or "Close" button). Create specific, actionable, user-centered error messages. Users should either perform an action or change their behavior as the result of the message. Provide only a short error message and complement it by a Details button that provides more a detailed explanation in the same error dialog. Follow the guidelines of dialogs in general. Behavior Messages should be: Informative and constructive: Tell the user the reason for a problem and help on how to solve the problem. Understandable: Phrase your messages clearly, in non-technical terms and avoid obscure error codes. Readable: User has to be able to read the message in his/her own pace, think about it, understand it. It is not acceptable to add countdown timers (visible or not) or to force user to read and understand the message within a few seconds. Specific instead of general: If the message is reporting a problem concerning a specific object or application, use the object or application name when referring to it. Polite, non-terrifying and non-blaming: Avoid wording that terrifies the user ("fatal", "illegal"), blames him for his behavior, and be polite. Appearance Apply confirmation button labels when no further input is required: To close a warning or error message that does not require further user interaction, provide a Close button. Do not use an OK button. Users may get confused if they are asked to confirm an error. Apply confirmation button labels when further interaction is required: Use buttons which match the type of statement or question made in the warning or error message. For example, do no ask a Yes/No question but then provide OK/Cancel buttons. Apply confirmation button labels when the user must choose between two actions to continue: Use descriptive button labels instead of standard Yes/No or OK/Cancel buttons. For example, if the user must choose to continue or stop an action, provide the buttons "Continue" and "Cancel". Implementation KMessageBox Retrieved from "https://community.kde.org/index.php?title=KDE_Visual_Design_Group/HIG/Messages&oldid=58927" Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.