User Experience/Projects/NonModalMessageSystem

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Non Modal Message System

Current versions of use modal dialogs to give feedback in many situations. This interrupts users every time such a dialog is shown. Most of these messages are not that important, but it is no option to stop giving feedback. Furthermore new features, like sharing documents with others need a kind of message system to broadcast collaboration information. Giving feedback needs to be accessible, so it is not sufficient to show a message text somewhere in a dialog or just to change the color of a control. Those text and color changes will not be read by AT tools.

Work in Progress.

Message Types and Visualization Styles

Note: Visual representation (colors, design, icons) of the following is subject to change.


  • Information
  • Warning
  • Question

Visualization Style 1

Every time the message is not directly triggered by the user (i.e collaboration messages) the following message type is being used.

Small (preferred visualization)

Message system small.png

  • Messages could disappear automatically after a configurable time. The 'Close' button then shows a text '(n)'..'(0)'. The message will be hidden if the counter reaches 0.

Message system small menu.png

Message Center

Message Center in Start Center (early draft)

Mock-up will follow.

Message Center in Side Pane (early draft)

Showallmessages center.png

Message could also be shown inside the StartCenter, beside templates and recent documents.

Experimental Mock-Ups

Visualization Style 1


Message type1.png

Show All Mssages


TBD: Show navigation on focus only.
TBD: Show only a' Message' button like shown in 'Small' mock-up only?

Visualization Style 2b

Temporary messages without special context: General messages without special context. Message disappears automatically.


Alternatively those contextual information could be shown as type 1 message. In this case the message has a timer, so it will automatically disappear.

Visualisation Style 3 (Optional)

This type needs a kind of fixed office button/place where all these message will be shown. This type of message is more interruptive than type 1 and covers more user interface of OOo. But it could be useful if OOo task window is minimized (not sure about technical limitations).

Message type3.png


Christoph Noack

DirectManipulationSnippets Direct Manipulation Snippets

FF4 Proposal [1][2]

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