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It is often necessary to alert or inform the user of ephemeral or contextual information that is not a fixed part of the interface. Two primary ways of displaying alerts are by using an alert box or a modal.

Use an Alert Box When the Alert:

  • Is non-critical
    e.g. unsaved changes
  • Pertains to a specific component or section on the current page
Use alerts for inline save warnings and modals to prevent data loss.

Use a Modal When the Alert:

  • Is communicating a significant error
  • Would prevent accidental data loss that is difficult to reverse

  • Should prevent the user from attempting other actions
    e.g. connection failure
  • Is about a user-triggered background task not visible on the current page
    e.g. failed query run
Use modals for errors that prevent interaction with the page.

Other Resources

Be sure to read the Fabric guidelines on alerts & errors, as well as modals & views.

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Last Updated

Sep 27, 2019