Read only dialog box?

Subject: Read only dialog box?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Barbara Philbrick <caslon -at- alltel -dot- net>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 09:00:15 -0500

Barbara Philbrick reports: <<One of my clients doesn't want to call dialog boxes "dialog boxes" if the information in them is read-only.>>

Technically speaking, if the users interact with the message (e.g., by clicking OK to banish the dialog), they're engaging in dialog with the computer. So the usage is correct. However, that's just an issue of nomenclature--what to call the darned things when you refer to them.

If the client really can't abide that, it's completely painless to call them "alert messages", "notifications", "status reports", or whatever else conveys the correct impression of what the message says. Never forget that a "dialog box" is interface jargon, not what users see: they see is a notification of something that has happened, a chance to change settings, a request for information, etc. Focusing on that action or task is more important than on what to call it.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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Read only dialog box: From: Barbara Philbrick

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