Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

Error Messages and Informational Messages

Error messages and informational messages are appropriate in different situations. Present an error message when it is crucial to bring the information to the user's attention because the intended action cannot be carried out without user intervention. Present informational messages to describe progress, indicate short-term status, or give helpful suggestions. Informational messages should be gentle and nondisruptive to the flow of activity. Therefore, you must assume that the user may not notice informational messages. If it is important that your users see a particular piece of information, present it in an error dialog box or in another type of message dialog box.