On my last post I wrote on how to debug and log error messages using Zend Framework and Firebug. Today I wanted to write on how to properly display messages and alerts to users.
There are different type of messages you can display to a user in a web application. From the typical validation messages, to a dreadful fatal error in your app. Here are some rules I tend to follow when alerting the users that they must take an action without causing confusion:
- Use the same massaging system to display all messages
- Stick to 3 different types: warning (yellow), success (green), and error (red)
- On system error, do not display the system error to the user
- Display informative messages when interface can be confusing