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It's not only what you say but how you say it. Choose the right message type.

Messages inform users of events, specific conditions or system states that require attention. In Magnolia, you can show message in three types (follow the links for more details):

When creating message content, consider the context and persistence:

  1. You can display messages in the immediate context where the user is working. Use pop-ups or alerts for context dependent messages.
    1. Pop-ups are non-blocking, they go away automatically and the user can safely ignore them.
    2. An alert blocks the user and requires a reaction.
  2. Only notifications are persisted messages. If you need to display something you really want the users to read, display a notification. The user can read it later in the Notifications app.

Hints for writing messages

Notifications

  • Make the title and short description non-technical and easy to understand.
  • By contrast, the message body can be as complex and technical as necessary.
  • Cover the incident comprehensively.
  • Provide enough context to make the message clear. Remember that messages can show up outside of the context they are created in. For example, a user editing a page may see an unrelated message that the license of the asset management connector he's using to access a SharePoint server will expire in five days.

Example use: An info notification is displayed to an administrator that the license of a particular Magnolia instance is about to expire. (INFO message sent by the system)

Alerts

  • Text for alerts should be very short. We want them to be small and neat, and instantly comprehensible.
  • If you ask questions, make them concise and snappy and ensure you use explicit labels on buttons that answer the question. For example, when you ask the user to confirm a deletion, labeling the buttons Yes, delete and No, with the latter being the default, instead of just OK and Cancel.

Example use: A Yes-No question is displayed in an alert, asking the user whether an action should proceed or not.

Pop-ups

  • Text for pop-ups must be super short and to the point since it is only visible for a few seconds.

Example use: A pop-up tells the user that they have not completed a dialog. Some fields still need to be filled.

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