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Regarding Alert Icon Design

May 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM
Edited May 29, 2009 at 9:01 AM



I need clarification for the following MSCUI guideline 

1.       1. We need to give alert  as “Mandatory Fields are missing” next to the field.  My doubt is in MSCUI, positive alert should be mentioned in Blue color, with dark circle & thin border around it. Is this way to represent this alert ? (Ref: Alert Symbol Design.pdf  section 5.1.1, page 13)

 2.        2   While submitting this page, system has to tell “Submit Success”. What kind of Icons we shall design.



Since the Icon topic is very general, Please suggest the icon design

1.       Confirmation alert (color ? , shape ?, Icon inside ? )


2.     2.            Mandatory alert (color ? , shape ?,  Icon inside ?)


3.      3.          Success alert (color ? , shape ? ,  Icon inside ?)


4.       4.        Failure alert (color ? , shape ?,  Icon inside ? )




Jun 23, 2009 at 6:51 AM
Edited Jun 24, 2009 at 8:58 AM

(Hi again - updating this entry with more specifics)


The Alert Symbol Design guidance exploration (this particular document is not actually full guidance), looks at alert symbols and icons for general use in the user interface, such as in toolbars and dialog boxes.


In regard to mandatory (required) fields, our user research indicates that a red asterisk next to a label (to the immediate right of a label) is generally recognised as indicating a required field.


For required fields which have been missed, we have upcoming guidance (on admissions noting /clerking ) which will likely recommend alerting the user as soon as they miss a required field (rather than waiting for them to submit the whole form), to insert yellow background shading in the field, as well as a non-visible label (for screen readers), and to have a non-modal message summarising the missed required fields. There will be even more detail in the published guidance document (which will be in the next refresh / release of the MSCUI site - please keep chekcing back or sign up for RSS feeds to be notified).


In other guidance currently in progress (on medications), we have also have an approach which does not enable the 'next button’ until all fields are completed.


In regard to specific icons, you are right that our guidance exploration is very general – it’s a basic introduction to the symbols and icons only, and we do not have specific guidance for specific icons at this time. Apologies for not being able to help you out on this particular query.


Jun 23, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Interesting - the Microsoft Vista UX guidelines say to put the asterisk at the beginning of the label.  I would think the Health CUI would be inline.

Jun 24, 2009 at 8:45 AM

CUI guidance is expressly platform-agnostic and as such we consult a range of exisiting UX guidelines (including Windows Vista), but also other guidelines for other platforms. In addition to these general principles and guidelines, we also conduct primary user research and usability test the healthcare-specific aspects of the guidance area, and base our resultant guidance on the balance of these and other input. This means that, at times, we will inevitably be at variance with someone's guidelines.