Alternate titles: Confirmation notice, Error notice, Alert, Inline Form Validation.
The user has entered data into the system and expects to receive feedback on the result of that submission.
When users submit content to your site via forms, errors in the are bound to happen from time to time. The goal of this pattern is to improve the user experience by minimizing input errors.
A paradigm called data validation is well suited for catching errors at the time of submitting a form. A common way to tell if data validates is to set up rules for each input field in the form. The data entered must pass these rules to be considered valid. Such validation rules can be:
If the data submitted by the user validates, it is good practice to let the user know that everything went as planned. Even better, redirect the user to a page, where he or she can see the newly submitted content in a context.
However, if the data submitted by the user does not validate, an error message should be presented to the user explaining how to correct the data and request for a re-submit. Such an error message should explain that:
The visual representation of the input feedback should correspond with the message you want to give. If the submission went successfully, consider letting the user know in a green box. If the message is neutral, a color often used is yellow. If something went wrong, red is often used. But beware – red means danger – is the user experiencing a dangerous situation?
As the user fills out a form on a web page, he or she is conducting the process of converting mental data structured in one way to a written form structured in another way. As all humans do not think alike, we are bound to enter the data in different ways as we try to convert our individually structured data to a shared structure defined by the system.
Data entered in web forms is prone to contain errors, which we must be prepared for in our design. The user must be made aware of the fact that the data entered did not match the structure that we designed for. Using visually distinct feedback notices, the user will be made aware of such errors and how to correct them.
It can be argued that you should focus more on preventing errors before the user submits his or her data than on providing a good error message after data has been submitted. Consider constraining input with select boxes.
Consider the language of your error messages, as these may have an emotional impact on your users. What tone of voice is appropriate for your users?
Users will feel more confident and informed when they receive feedback from the system. Feedback includes notifications, dialog message boxes, colored or disabled buttons, loading animations, inline alerts, tooltips, hover effects and so on. Bridge the gap created between performing an action and evaluation of the system after an action.
I just re-read the article and use cases… because I would think that LinkedIn is hip to the as input fields are entered & out-of-focus validation. It says:
“Use when you want to notice your users about errors that happened during form submission.”
However, it then also says, “Upon Submission”…
What is being covered here? I guess I am not clear as to what is being said.