Cool notification messages with CSS3 & jQuery

Nowadays, UX is a key factor when it comes about creating/designing a product or system. To keep users happy, developers struggle to create a good experience and a better interactivity.

UX is a term used to describe the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system. So, a good UX will always make users happy and businesses more successful.

Notification messages are an important part of the user experience and you can't afford to omit them. A notification alert message should appear every time the user perform important tasks.

In this article, you'll learn how to create some alert messages with CSS3 and jQuery.

View demo

Message Types

Bellow is a list with common notification messages:

  • Info
  • Error
  • Warning
  • Success

Info

Its purpose is to inform user regarding a relevant matter.

CSS3 info message

Error

When an operation has failed, the user must be notified. For example: "The account couldn't be deleted." or "Your settings weren't saved" etc.

CSS3 error message

Warning

This type of message notify the user of a condition that might cause a problem in the future.

CSS3 warning message

Success

The success message should be displayed after user successfully performs an action.

CSS3 success message

The HTML

<div class="info message">
 <h3>FYI, something just happened!</h3>
 <p>This is just an info notification message.</p>
</div>

<div class="error message">
 <h3>Ups, an error ocurred</h3>
 <p>This is just an error notification message.</p>
</div>

<div class="warning message">
 <h3>Wait, I must warn you!</h3>
 <p>This is just a warning notification message.</p>
</div>

<div class="success message">
 <h3>Congrats, you did it!</h3>
 <p>This is just a success notification message.</p>
</div>

The CSS

.message{
    background-size: 40px 40px;
    background-image: linear-gradient(135deg, rgba(255, 255, 255, .05) 25%, transparent 25%,
                        transparent 50%, rgba(255, 255, 255, .05) 50%, rgba(255, 255, 255, .05) 75%,
                        transparent 75%, transparent);                                      
     box-shadow: inset 0 -1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.4);
     width: 100%;
     border: 1px solid;
     color: #fff;
     padding: 15px;
     position: fixed;
     _position: absolute;
     text-shadow: 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.5);
     animation: animate-bg 5s linear infinite;
}

.info{
     background-color: #4ea5cd;
     border-color: #3b8eb5;
}

.error{
     background-color: #de4343;
     border-color: #c43d3d;
}
     
.warning{
     background-color: #eaaf51;
     border-color: #d99a36;
}

.success{
     background-color: #61b832;
     border-color: #55a12c;
}

.message h3{
     margin: 0 0 5px 0;                                                  
}

.message p{
     margin: 0;                                                  
}

@keyframes animate-bg {
    from {
        background-position: 0 0;
    }
    to {
       background-position: -80px 0;
    }
}

Note the animate-bg, which animate the background diagonal stripes. Of course, to see this effect, you should use latest Webkit browsers like Chrome/Safari or Mozilla 5+.

The notification messages will be hidden initially. For that we'll use fixed positioning (absolute value just for IE6 - as there is no position:fixed support).

    position: fixed;
    _position: absolute; /* IE6 only */

The jQuery

Define the messages types using an array:

var myMessages = ['info','warning','error','success'];

The below function hides the notification messages. Messages could have dynamic heights and for that, each message's height is calculated in order to hide it properly.

function hideAllMessages() {
         var messagesHeights = new Array(); // this array will store height for each
     
         for (i=0; i<myMessages.length; i++) {
          messagesHeights[i] = $('.' + myMessages[i]).outerHeight(); // fill array
          $('.' + myMessages[i]).css('top', -messagesHeights[i]); //move element outside viewport     
         }
}

The showMessage function is called when document ready.

function showMessage(type) {
    $('.'+ type +'-trigger').click(function(){
          hideAllMessages();                  
          $('.'+type).animate({top:"0"}, 500);
    });
}

On page load, first of all we'll hide all the messages: hideAllMessages(). Then, for each trigger, show the equivalent message:

$(document).ready(function(){
     
     // Initially, hide them all
     hideAllMessages();
     
     // Show message
     for(var i=0;i<myMessages.length;i++)
     {
        showMessage(myMessages[i]);
     }
     
     // When message is clicked, hide it
     $('.message').click(function(){              
              $(this).animate({top: -$(this).outerHeight()}, 500);
      });        
     
});

Conclusion

Using CSS3, I think you can find endless possibilities to design notification messages. The above is just a minimal example, with no images (for simplicity's sake).

But, the design is not everything, as functionality and interactivity have a very important role here.

Updates

  • Added CSS3 animation support for Mozilla 5+ (thanks Magne). I also fixed the proper CSS3 animation (thanks Glukki) )

  • CSS3 gradients syntax updated. Now, Safari also renders background stripes.

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