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Can you believe this: Few days ago I went to my bank to check my credit score with the Credit Bureau. The bank official typed in my personal data and sent a request. Web application responded by displaying a yellow message box with an exclamation icon saying that data processing is still in progress. He checked several more times, but he didn't notice that at one moment the message changed to "Account available". But the message box hasn't changed. He continued to check a few more times and eventually he realized that the request was successful.

I don't know what was in the minds of developers and designers who created this application, but it certainly wasn't the user. This poor bank official was really frustrated. I can't imagine what the rest of the application looks like.

To prevent this, different message types should be displayed differently. My opinion is that every web application should handle four main message types: information, successful operation, warning and error. Each message type should be presented in a different color and different icon. A special message type represents validation messages.

I will show you a remake of CSS message boxes I used on my latest project. I changed them slightly just to make them simpler for this example. In next article, you will see how to create ASP.NET user control that can support different message types and how to style it using CSS. You will also see how to style ValidationSummary in a similar way.



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