Notifications are informational messages that give feedback on the outcome of an action or general occurrences in the application.

Notification message

If you're looking for a more intrusive type of notification, consider using the AlertDialog which interrupts the user's workflow and requires an immediate action to be taken.


  • Appear temporarily towards the bottom of the screen.
  • Appear as a result of user action or general occurrences (e.g. network error) in the application.
  • Do not interrupt the user experience or require an action to be taken to disappear.
  • Dismissed automatically after a specified duration or via user interaction.

#Best practices

#Provide a short and affirmative message

The message of notifications should be easy to understand at a glance.
A general rule of thumb would be to follow the pattern of noun + verb.

For example, prefer "User deleted" over "The user has been deleted".

#Actionable notifications

In most cases, notifications are purely informative with no immediate action to be taken. However, it is totally valid to provide an action.

For example, you could allow users to amend choices by displaying an "Undo" action.

User deletedUndo

#Automatic dismissal duration

Usually, notifications are dismissed automatically after 4 seconds.

This should give the user enough time to understand the message, provided it is short and straightforward.

For actionable notifications, the duration can be extended up to 10 seconds to give the user enough time to interact with it.

Depending on the context, the duration may vary. Consider exposing an option to modify the duration as needed.

#Pause automatic dismissal timer on hover

This can be a useful feature to give the user time to digest the message or come to a decision before the dismissal.

Once the mouse leaves the notification, the timer is restarted and will dismiss automatically after it runs to completion.


Notifications usually appear towards the bottom left of the screen which in most cases is the least disruptive area and does not contain interactive elements.

If multiple notifications are displayed, they should stack on top of each other with the latest one on top, and expand on hover. To avoid cluttering the UI, limit the stack up to 3 notifications.

Notification message 1
Notification message 2
Notification message 3

Alternatively, they can be displayed alongside each other without the stacking and hover interaction.


You might have encountered varying naming conventions for this component:

  • Snackbar
  • Toast
  • Alert
  • Notification

At first, Alert can seem like the most obvious choice. Although, alerts are generally meant to appear in context, alongside other UI elements. Moreover, the WAI-ARIA Practices for Alert do not recommend alerts that disappear automatically.

We believe that component names should be self-descriptive, and communicate how the component should behave, rather than look, so we recommend using Notification.


#Dispatching notifications

Initially, you might implement a notification component and expose it as-is.

However, since notifications appear globally, placing them declaratively in the hierarchy of elements does not always make sense. Besides, no one wants to implement a global store for notifications themselves!

Hence, along with the component itself, consider exposing a global container component with an imperative API to dispatch notifications:

import { NotificationContainer, notification } from 'ui-playbook';
// Place the container in the root of the application.
function App() {
return (
<NotificationContainer />
// Dispatch notifications from anywhere!
notification.dispatch('Notification message');


#Announce the message

It is crucial to make sure that the message of the notification is accessible to assistive technologies.

Notifications should have a role attribute set to either alert or status. If a screen reader is currently reading something, using status will wait for it to finish, whereas alert would interrupt the announcement and read immediately.

For example, status is suitable for notifications that don't prompt the user's attention — like "Changes saved".

Whereas alert should be used for notifications where the user's immediate attention is required — like "Network error".

In most cases, you would use status.