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OpenACS Home : Forums : OpenACS Development : .LRN user interface design : One Message

Forum OpenACS Development: Re: .LRN user interface design

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Posted by Lars Pind on
Btw, on the message bar, I've looked around a bit and noticed one obvious pattern, which we can implement, which is to have just two types of alerts: Good and Bad.

Good would be when you confirm that an action has taken place, like a blog entry posted.

Bad would be when something didn't work out, like when you type the wrong password.

The "Bad" message could be combined with the regular form error handling, so we show both the error on the form element, and the alert up to saying "There were errors on the form, please correct below" (or something slightly nicer). If there's only one error, we could name that specifically.

This would have the advantage that we train users to watch for that space, whether good or bad things happened.

Thoughts?

/Lars

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Posted by Bruce Spear on
Lars, thanks for the thoughtful query.  As we have discussed, we developers used to have a fondness for the directness of messages like "SECURITY VIOLATION, THIS INCIDENT HAS BEEN REPORTED", but now we are at the dawn of a new, more cooperative and information age, where think the messages might better be considered in terms of dialogues with intelligent users, including beginners who want to be intermediates and intermediates who want to be advanced.  Even better are messages that offer users helpful ways out of the predicaments we would put them in because we have not designed the thing so well the error would not have been made in the first place.  So, whatever messages you might put there ought to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, and possibly even brave, clean and reverent.  As we have discussed, the shortest solution is the best, and so a quick message that gives me options is the best.  If the error is known, then a direct instruction towards remedy.  If not, an opportunity to survey alternatives, such as a reference to context-dependent help files. I'd think we'd also want to promise hope and deliver on that promise, and for that something like Nima's error message dialogue, where the program's diagnostic error message itself is captured on a form that the otherwise hapless user might add to suggest a nice, warm, fuzzy, cooperative relationship even the most hardened programmer would be challenged not to embrace.  In sum, I'd suggest that you think of that message bar as either an opportunity, or poetry, or both.
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Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on
I ran across some medical info in the Wikipedia that HAD to be fixed as I was looking something up and I noticed Wikipedia uses the same space at the top of the page content for both temporary notifications (e.g. "this is only a preview, and has not yet been saved") and longer term notifications (e.g. "server going down for maintenance in X hours"). A hook for longer term messages with a got-it-now-leave-me-alone button would be nice (just noting for prosperity: I realize implementation is out of scope).