Secret ingredients to quality software


Messages - Do you know how to put the technical info? (2/3 Description)

Created on 27 Nov 2012 | Last updated by Rebecca Liu on 27 Nov 2012 04:37 AM (over 8 years ago)


The description should explain what the error was, followed by the why it occurred. Information that is useful for debugging should be included with errors where possible in a "Details" section. You should also avoid making the text unnecessarily wide. e.g.

Figure: Bad Example - A message box that does not intuitively alert the user

  • This is confusing, because it uses different terminology to the title ("estimate" instead of "quote")
  • There is no punctuation
  • The word "Error" is meaningless
  • Line breaks are not present, so the message box is too wide and the text may wrap in the wrong spot

Figure: Good Example - A message box that is clear, consistent and intuitive

  • Terminology is consistent
  • Punctuation is present
  • "Details" indicates that this information is useful for debugging
  • The text is split across three lines, and the technical information after Details is separated from the description of the error

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