Sunday Oct 31, 2010

ADF Faces Messages: Inline Versus Dialog Decisions

The Application Developer Framework Faces components (as previously mentioned) allow you to use a variety of messages types (error, warning, and so on) in different ways. For example, errors on components can be shown inline (that is, on the page - figure 1) or in a message dialog (figure 2). This is done by setting the inline property on af:messages to true.

error_message_inline_decision.png

Figure 1: ADF Faces Inline Error Message

error_message_dialog_decision.png

Figure 2: ADF Faces Error Message Dialog

But how do you make the decision about whether to show the message inline? To do this you need some user experience guidance. Make the decision based on how the business or UI rule you've designed is validated and on the nature of the user task being performed. Here's a sample decision matrix for message types and scenarios (figure 3) that you might like to consider.

dialog_v_inline.png

Figure 3: Inline versus Dialog-based Messages Decision Matrix

Of course, this is just a guideline. Natch, designing your flows so that errors aren't necessary at all is the way to go, but hey, let's live in the real world!

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Oracle applications user experience (UX) assistance. UX and development outreach of all sorts to the apps community, helping to design and deliver usable apps.

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Ultan Ó Broin. Director, Global Applications User Experience, Oracle Corporation. On Twitter: @ultan

See my other Oracle blog about product globalization too: Not Lost in Translation

Interests: User experience (UX), user centered design, design patterns, tailoring, BYOD, dev relations, language quality, mobile apps, Oracle FMW and ADF, and a lot more.

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