Synonyms: notifications

Notifications are system status messages which alert users about current events. We need them to inform the user or to encourage him or her to perform certain actions.

Notifications can be different. From alerts, error messages, confirmations to announcements and acknowledgments. It can provide information to users, provoke them to perform actions or assist in performing tasks. They exist in different forms: persistent or non-persistent, pop-up, banner, dialog.

No matter what purpose a notification serves, it shouldn’t be annoying.

Designing Great Notifications

1. Define Purpose

If you can avoid notification, avoid it. Before designing any notification try to understand when and how it can help users. 


When it comes to apps, It is also important to explain to users why they need your notifications.

Pic. 1. It is impossible to understand whether you want these alerts and sounds or not

Pic. 2.Much better. It is obvious when and why a user can receive these notifications

2. Pay attention to color and icons

Basically, there are three attention levels of all the notifications: high, medium and low. High-attention notifications are errors, confirmations, exceptions. Medium are acknowledgements and warnings. Low-attention notifications are status indicators and success messages.


Notifications of each level need their own design — iconography and colour. It is okay to make notifications different but in styleguide.


Notifications rules
Here is an example of different design for different notifications. Colour and icons indicate the importance of message


3. Find the right placement

It is better to avoid places where notification can ruin the interface. For example, messages can not hide navigation elements. It is better to place notifications at the corners, top and bottom of the whole design system. 


4. Check the UX copy

It should be as simple as possible. Make sure that it is easy to read and comprehend. If you add actions, they should be obvious. More about cool UX Copy — here: 8 tips that can help avoid common mistakes.

Pic. 1. Not the best wording and it is hard to understand what OK means

Pic. 2.Better wording and obvious actions

5. Let users get rid of notification

And make this action as simple as possible. The close button is an obligatory element of any notifying message.


You should also consider an option to mark notifications with Do not show again. It is important when it comes to informational banners.

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