Archive for the ‘feedback’ Tag

Prompting Errors, Warnings etc.

Some good points on System Feedback to user. Found it here. Btw…

Question: Do we follow any such standards for visual representations (icons) for prompts of such nature on devices?


Recently there has been some controversy related to IE8, Critical Windows Updates, and multi-step wizard style interfaces vs. leveraging default settings. But most of these debates have centered on things like text size and interactive flows. I personally believe there is also a visual design component to this issue as well.

Standard Dialog Box Icons

The Windows User Experience Guidelines for Standard Dialog Icon Use

This quote is from Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines > Guidelines > Aesthetics > Standard Icons

Message type vs. severity

Choose standard icons based the message type, not the severity of the underlying issue. The message types are:

* Error. An error or problem that has occurred.
* Warning. A condition that might cause a problem in the future.
* Information. Useful information.

Different operating systems have slightly different guidelines for using the standard dialog box icons, for instance sometimes the error icon is used to indicate an error that is the system’s fault, while the warning icon is used to indicate a significant problem that is (or will be) the user’s fault. Also Vista tends to only use the blue question icon as an entry point to help, with guidelines stating: “Don’t use the question mark icon to ask questions. Again, use the question mark icon only for Help entry points. There is no need to ask questions using the question mark icon anyway—it’s sufficient to present a main instruction as a question.” Contrary to the Windows-specific guidelines, Firefox in some situations uses a question mark for direct questions that have a significant consequence, but do not involve any form of error.

These standard dialog icons also metaphorically associate with physical objects in the real world. For instance an equilateral triangle form is commonly used to represent traffic warnings.


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