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Allow us an exit hatch to dismiss the system message notification bar

Today i've found an another notice on SO, which yells at me something like:

Unexpected changes? In MY reputation? It is more likely than you think!

Okay, i've read it, acknowledged it, but it wont go away, now just wasting a valuable space of my screen estate. I'm also aware what there exists an another method of placing notices on the user's screen in the form of jQuery driven bar, which CAN be closed.

SO, how to remove this announcement, when i finished with reading and understanding it?

  • [bug] or [feature]? I believe - a [bug], because it bugs an user! :-)
    – user539484
    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:31
  • Yeah, tough call, 'cause... it's supposed to bug you. We try to not use them very often, but since this change affects everyone, we'd rather err on the side of annoying a few people rather than leaving many more wondering what's going on. It'll be gone in a few days.
    – Shog9
    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:35
  • 1
    @Shog: That doesn't really explain why it isn't closable. Presumably, once a user dismisses it, he's read it and is aware of what's going on. (And if they close it without reading it, well then they're just as likely to not read it regardless of whether or not it is closable.) Mar 2, 2012 at 7:37
  • I wonder if messages in the jQuery-driven top bar would be queued forever? Any idea, @Shog9? If so, then users who are not regular visitors might get to see the message months after today. (Of course, that does not explain why the current message cannot be closed, but might explain why the top bar is not used.)
    – Arjan
    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:44
  • But, @Cody, when someone closed it without really reading it, and then only some days later sees something happened to their reputation, then that user might still want to read the linked post after all? (Of course, there are would be other ways to make old messages available. And heck, we've even seen users post questions on Meta while some notification was still visible...)
    – Arjan
    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:48
  • 1
    @Cody: this isn't a modal dialog. The content is 27 pixels further down the page, but it's still there. For a couple days, folks can either read it, or ignore it - but they have to do one of those. Train them to just close it, and we might as well get rid of it entirely - it would be as pointless as those stupid MessageBox()es everyone just closes without reading. I, for one, don't feel like answering a million "what happened to my rep?" questions - and so far, the annoyance has paid off.
    – Shog9
    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:49
  • It's not really a technical decision, @Arjan - we just don't use that form of notification for system-wide messages. But yeah, that wouldn't be a particularly good experience.
    – Shog9
    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:52
  • @Shog9, such strategy aims to the most dumb of users. This is SO improper. And annoyed users amount is substantially larger than "few", they just got used to the common web practice to show lots of undesired information on the screen. An escalation only brings this solution, and no one wins in the end. Why not to make proper journal with common message queue (as it already been made with responses)? Just assign a facility/severity attributes and here we are - a filterable message stream in the one distinct place.
    – user539484
    Mar 2, 2012 at 8:38
  • @CodyGray, good point! There is no way to force any user to read that (and i must say, linked post in quite verbose for my taste). And it is pointless to pester a lawful good user (who read that message immediately) any longer.
    – user539484
    Mar 2, 2012 at 8:46
  • user539484, why would you think this has any connection to intelligence? Habit and muscle memory are common to us all. If 27 pixels annoys you so very much that you're willing to go to extreme lengths to avoid it, that's your choice - if it causes you to miss something important in the future, you've only yourself to blame. We'll do our best to limit how intrusive and how common these messages are, but on those rare occasions when they're needed, they will remain visible to all.
    – Shog9
    Mar 2, 2012 at 15:30
  • @Shog9, "blame yourself" clause is applicable to ones who would close the bar message w/o reading it. How about unified message queue i was proposing? It can allow super-mega-important notices to be revisited in the case of dismissed by accident. BTW, if your users developed a habit to dismiss the notices w/o reading them means what your notices are intrusive already :-) Pesonally, i'm for trade-off, but if devs are assuming uncompromising stance, i'd better off miss something important for them (exactly the same way as i missing numerous great Viagra offers in my e-mail on daily basis).
    – user539484
    Mar 2, 2012 at 16:28
  • Yes, as I said at the start, they're supposed to be intrusive. Not being intrusive means we might as well not bother. Site's going down? You'll know because it doesn't load. Rep calculations changing? You'll know because your rep history is different. Election going on? You'll find out when some folks suddenly have diamonds next to their names. Unintrusive is great for stuff that folks don't have any pressing need to know about, like badges, rep, and comment replies. But when they do need to know, we have unavoidable system messages.
    – Shog9
    Mar 2, 2012 at 16:48
  • @Shog9, sure. But that advocates for one-time appearance not for persistence. And still, someone who left yesterday and will come back whenever you remove that notice will wonder what happened. See? Cover more inactive users = disturb an active ones. Also, i do not agree about priorities. This is Q&A website visitors here have pressing need to know about answers, questions and maybe comments. Administrative and social activities are secondary to that.
    – user539484
    Mar 2, 2012 at 17:47


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