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back to Human Interface Guidelines


A notification is an information that is not relevant to actual workflow. It is displayed via a certain notification mechanism on a panel beneath the taskbar notification area. Notifications inform users about non-critical problems, but they don't prevent them.

Notifications pop-up and overlay all other windows. More than one notification are stacked vertically. Notifications disappear after a short period automatically, but can be closed by the user or keep visible by mouse over (remark: better description necessary). Each notification has its own central configuration which can be reach by a small button with a wrench icon. (remark: icon description is too specific here)


(remark: pictures only?)


  • Email received
  • New update available
  • Download completed
  • Low battery power

todo: picture

(Epic) Fails

  • Low space on medium (this information becomes relevant for file managers and invoked as modal message in this case)

todo: picture


  • Do not use notifications for user assistance (consider to use tool-tips or balloons for short information, or refer to help system for extended text.
  • Do not use notifications for context relevant information that might interfere with the actual workflow (consider to use a message dialog.
  • Do not add controls to notification.
  • Do not override system settings. (remark: more specific)
  • Provide header and content text (remark: not precise enough)
  • Add origin and topic to the header. For instance: "Amarok: Now playing" or "Konsole: Event"
  • Notification content must not exceed three lines.
  • Customize notification with the origin's icon. (remark: word "origin" needs to be replaced; "icon" might be replaced by technical term)
  • Provide actionable information (e.g. "Low battery power" "Only 13 min (2%) capacity remaining. Please save your stuff now. Your system will get shut down soon.") (remark: should be according actual text)

to be defined: Are all notifications configured in KCM? If not, how to separate?

Code snippets

to be done

This page was last edited on 4 August 2016, at 11:26. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.