Like its friend the modal, an alert disables the rest of the interface, but actions are not optional. Reserve this component for choices that should be carefully considered.
The two practical applications of an alert are an acknowledgement and a decision.
Acknowledgement: This is typically information related to an action they’ve already completed. No decision required, just the understanding that they read the alert.
The number of buttons is determined by the alert’s purpose. An acknowledgement only requires one, while the decision should offer two.
Single: Should never affect or complete an action, simply allows them to close the alert.
Our button guidelines can give you a closer look at each type and how to use them.
An alert should never be a “next step” or part of a workflow’s logical progression. It should only appear when the action is seemingly complete.
Don'tuse it to provide a whole new task.
Doconsider the alert a follow-up rather than any sort of step.
Alerts are ideal for an error they should know about before going anywhere else. Make it clear something didn’t go as planned and they can/should remedy.
Don't interrupt with an unrelated issue.
Douse the alert for errors they may not notice otherwise.
Action or acknowledgement is required with all alerts—it’s why we removed the dismiss.
One of the options can be to cancel or “never mind”. We just want to make sure that decision to opt out is deliberate.
We shouldn’t distract from the actual thing they’re trying to do. If there are resources worth providing, direct them via text, but don’t give them an additional “out” via hyperlink.
Don'tlink off and prevent them from making the very important decision.
Domention resources only if they’d make a difference.
You could also risk the user interpreting a button as a way to that destination. (Not great when deleting.)
Unlike the modal, the alert has no title or subtitle. We jump straight to the body to ensure they read everything all at once.
Don'tbe cryptic and dance around the alert’s purpose.
Douse complete sentences and make sure the content flows into the button copy.
(And by “flow” we mean congruence.)
The body of the alert should be no longer than 150 characters long. If you can make it shorter, even better. Just shoot for two lines max.
Get straight to the point and provide their options—don’t forget we just interrupted their workflow.
Don'twrite a novel explaining the cause and what they should do.
Dotell them what’s up and provide a course of action.
The button should very clearly state its action. Avoid complete sentences, opt for a strong verb phrase instead. Title case always.
You can read more about button microcopy in our button guidelines.
|No guidelines exist for Windows (yet).|