Messages and Confirmations

Five types of messages are available, each with a distinct icon to help users quickly grasp intent.


Informational—Guides the user through a workflow or conveys pertinent information.


Success—Acknowledges that the user remedied a situation or accomplished something significant.


WarningAlerts the user to a potentially harmful or problematic condition.


ErrorReports a problem.


Confirmation—Asks the user to confirm an action. If the confirmation is a warning or an error, the confirmation uses the corresponding icon.


  • Use a short title that explains the content. 

    Example: vSwitch LRM223 - No Free Network Adapters
    Example:  Delete Library "MyLibrary"
  • Don't include an icon in the title, even if it's an object icon.  An icon in the title competes with the icon in the message body.
  • Don't include a Close, Help, or Minimize button in the title bar.
  • Use the standard message icons and ensure that the text matches the icon.  Don't use error text with a warning icon.
  • Present the message as simply as possible and, where feasible, recommend a remedial action.

    Example:  The role name is already in use.  Provide a unique role name.
  • Refer to objects by type, followed by name.  Place an object name within quotation marks only when it is necessary to distinguish it within the text.

    Example: Host is not in maintenance mode.
    Example: Delete virtual machine "Test_02" and its associated base disks?

  • Use a direct question when asking users to confirm an action.  Don't start with "Are you sure...?" or "Do you want to..."
  • Ensure that users can copy the text in the message window and paste it elsewhere.
  • Avoid these words:
    Don't use   Use
    abort   shut down, cancel, or stop
    catastrophic   serious
    error, unexpected error, failure   problem
    fail to   cannot or unable to
    fatal   serious
    illegal   invalid, or state in positive terms
    kill   cancel or stop
    please, sorry   Exception: "Please wait.."

Visual Specification

The minimum size of an message dialog is 322 x 205 pixels, and the maximum size is 496 x 424 pixels. 

Related Topics

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