I’ve always disliked dialog boxes… especially ones that only have an “OK” button on it. These sorts of dialog boxes are not very helpful because they stop the user in there tracks to tell them something and then force them to click “OK”. I really don’t like that scenario so I came up with an alternative method of accomplishing the same thing in what I think is a better way.
Its called a message bar and by default it sits on the bottom of a window where the status bar would normally be. When the program needs to subtly tell the user something and the user doesn’t have to make an immediate decision, you can use the message bar. It is not meant for letting the user take an action… so no “Do you want to save?” scenarios. I like this approach better because it still draws attention, but doesn’t stop the user from what there trying to do. Use it when saving to a file failed, when there network connection drops, when they entered an invalid value, etc.
All the details, source code, samples, and screenshots can be found at: http://wpfmessagebar.codeplex.com/