Chapter 9: Notifying and Informing Users

Sometimes the user’s attention needs to be directed away from the task she’s currently occupied with. Different situations need different notification methods. Few things demand user’s attention immediately and most can be brought to the user’s attention more subtlety.

This chapter covers notifications in a wider sense. It covers more than just the Android status bar notifications, which are the most common association people make when talking about Android notifications. Android SDK provides developers with multiple ways to notify and inform users.

All notifications are interruptive by nature. Using the right kind of notification method in the right circumstance is important for creating a good user experience. This chapter explains when notifications should be used and which method is best in which situation.

Android Notification methods

Let’s first take a look at what kind of notification methods Android offers. Each of the methods is suited for a different situation. Some of them are more interruptive than others and must therefore be used more carefully. On the other hand, the less interruptive notifications go unnoticed more easily and, therefore, aren’t a great choice for important notifications.

The following sections cover these techniques in order from the least interruptive to the most interruptive.

Inline/embedded notifications

Inline or embedded notifications include information about tasks and events and are shown as part ...

Get Smashing Android UI now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.