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

Step 1 - Message 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.
  • Show 'Messages' button for real messages only? (not for temporary ones)

Message system small menu.png

Step 2 - Message Style 2a

Temporary messages in context: Information is only of interest in a special context. I.e. feedback when searching the document. Message disappears automatically.

Message type2.png
Alternatively those contextual information could be shown as style 1 message. In this case the message has a timer, so it will automatically disappear.

Step 3 - Contextual Message

This visualization can be used in text or on an object. If not focused and mouse is not near the context, the visual hint is minimal.

Intext 1.png

If focused/cursor near context, the following icon is faded in:

Intext 2.png

On click a contextual menu is opened. Info icon turned into closer, so that menu could be closed without moving the mouse.

Intext 3.png

Message Center

Main Menu Integration

We need a hook in the main menu.

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


Christoph Noack

DirectManipulationSnippets Direct Manipulation Snippets

FF4 Proposal [1][2]

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