Warning and Error Messages
Warning dialogs should be:
- Understandable. Clearly phrased messages, do not use technical terms or obscure error codes.
- Specific instead of general. If the message is reporting a problem concerning a specific object or application, the object or application name should be used when referring to it.
- Informative and constructive. The reason for a problem should be given, and hints on how to solve it.
- Polite, non-terrifying and non-blaming. Wording that terrifies the user ("fatal", "illegal") shouldn't be used, users shouldn't be blamed for their behavior, the message should be polite.
- When the user has the choice between two options, descriptive labels should be used instead of yes/no buttons.
- When the message does not require further user input, the confirmation button should be labeled "Close" (instead of "OK").
Details on demand
- If there are more than three sentences of explanation, they should be provided in a "Details" section. In the dialog, there should be only a short message.
- Error codes and other technical information should be provided in a "Details" section.
- panels instead of dialogs may be used to display non-critical messages which do not require any further user interaction (typically dialogs with a single "OK" or "Close" button).
For examples, see Examples
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