RE: Error Messages: Text for the title bar

Subject: RE: Error Messages: Text for the title bar
From: SIANNON -at- VISUS -dot- JNJ -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 10:06:04 -0700


One reason for not leaving an error message title bar blank is for
troubleshooting purposes. If an identifier is noted in the title bar
(e.g. a sequence number), it can be referenced to more quickly determine
where in the program the triggering process was.

Note: not all pop-up messages are errors, and not all are a result of user
input. e.g., a notification message may pop up in the event of a known
fault in a robotic system being monitored or managed by the software, so
that an operator or tech may identify that there is an issue to be
addressed, a resource to be replenished, a part to clean/sevice, or an
incident to be logged for further investigation.

For user apps, including a brief name for the error message in the title
bar can make it easier for a user to look up the error in a user reference
if an error table is included (a feature we discussed in another thread a
while back, as I recall). In my experience, I've found users can
understand the immediate meaning of an error message, but not realize how
they are to respond to it because that part was too complex to fit in the
popup, or was part of the process *outside* the application. Discretely
identifying an error message allows it to be referenced in procedural
documentation outside the scope of the application procedures; e.g., for
Departmental Procedures describing manual actions with physical product or
paperwork that must take place in response to a system notification or
error message.

(I'm monitoring this thread in part because I'm about to implement such
error references for a few pieces of software in the next couple months,
and would like to round out my understanding of industry standards and
other usability issues before writing up the scope of that effort for our
project planner.)

Anyway, back to work, me...
Shauna Iannone
3GT Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Vistakon


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