Notifying end-users when support is no more

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at
Wed Jan 3 01:15:22 UTC 2007

Hash: SHA1

On Jan 2, 2007, at 1:14 PM, Conrad Knauer wrote:
> ...
>> I kinda think you need to be intrusive (hence the pop up window -or
>> changed desktop background- instead of a small bubble) but leave the
>> final decision to them.
> Pop-up windows just bring back bad memories from MS Windows ;-)
> The bubble:
> - would be familiar to Ubuntu users
> - need not be tiny
> - should produce a new bubble each reboot (or every certain time unit,
> say once per day) thus being annoying enough to eventually get the
> user to upgrade without being overly intrusive
> - could get larger each new time it comes up ;)
> Also, I would recommend that the icon in the notification area from
> which the bubble extends not go away (even if they close the bubble)
> until they upgrade.
> ...

Actually, most of the broken aspects of notification bubbles in Ubuntu 
seem to be precisely because they are imitating notification bubbles in 
MS Windows. You mentioned some of them: being intrusive, pointing to a 
cryptic icon in the panel (which in turn causes simultaneous bubbles to 
overlap), containing controls (which causes the same sort of mis-clicks 
as the alerts they replaced), and/or doing something other than fading 
away when you click the bubble itself.

Notification bubbles are good for things that are *notifications*, such 
as receiving an instant message, finishing a download, or starting a 
new song. For things that require *action*, open the relevant window 
instead, behind any other windows unless it's extremely urgent. For 
example, if Ubuntu needs updating/upgrading, open the update manager in 
the background; once the list of updates/upgrades is ready, start 
flashing its window-list button. Not only would this be less intrusive 
and cause fewer mis-clicks, it would also be easier to understand and 
quicker to use.

- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
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