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Displays a brief message without interrupting a user’s task.

Use alerts to display brief but important system-generated messages. They attract the user’s attention without interrupting their task. For messages that are the result of a user’s actions, see Toast.

Types of alerts

There are three types of alerts: page, inline, and compact.


Use page-level alerts on the top of the page, between the navigation and the breadcrumb to inform users of an event that may require the user’s attention or action.


Use inline alerts when the message is contextual or specific to the section it’s placed in.


Use compact alerts when a less prominent alert is needed.


When to use

  • To display a concise, important message that requires the user’s attention.

When not to use

  • To communicate feedback on a user’s action, consider Toast.
  • As a dialog to confirm an action, consider Modal.
  • To flag new features (e.g., "In Preview", "Beta", "New", etc), consider Badge.


Use color logically.

  • Neutral to provide general information to the user regarding the current context or relevant actions.
  • Highlight to provide general or promotional information to the user prominently.
  • Success to indicate a successful action.
    • Use the success variant sparingly. To communicate success after a user action is performed, use Toast.
  • Warning to help users avoid an issue. Provide guidance and actions, if possible.
  • Critical to indicate critical errors that need immediate action.

Critical alerts


Use the Alert for more intrusive message communication about errors or critical disruptions at an application, page, or section level where users need to take immediate action.


Use the Alert to communicate validation errors. For more details, refer to the form validation patterns.


Don't use alerts to provide non-intrusive feedback to users about the failure of an ongoing task or request. For example, a failure while deleting a cluster. Use the Toast instead.


Don't use alerts to communicate error messages that are not caused by the user. For example, an unsuccessful Vault cluster creation due to a failure while validating the deployment. Use the Toast instead.


All alerts have icons by default that are intentionally tied to the alert type.

Icons within the neutral and highlight alerts can be replaced with other icons. Change them only when the new icon provides the user with extra value; otherwise, use the default icon provided.



All alerts are persistent by default, while compact alerts are always persistent.


Page and inline alerts can be dismissible.

We recommend setting neutral and highlight alerts to be dismissible, as they are not critical for users to complete their journey.


We recommend keeping critical alerts non-dismissible as they are essential to the user’s journey and can get dismissed by mistake.




Page alerts are placed between the global header navigation and the breadcrumb, next to the left navigation.

Placement of page alert


Inline alerts can be added to a section or component or inline with content.

Placement of inline alert


Compact alerts can be added to a section or component or inline with content.

Placement of compact Alert

How to use this component

The most basic invocation requires the type argument to be passed, along with the title and/or description content. By default, a neutral Alert is generated.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>


A different type of Alert can be invoked using the type argument.

<Hds::Alert @type="page" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>
<Hds::Alert @type="compact" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>

Title and description

Optionally, you can pass only title or only description.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
<Hds::Alert @type="inline" as |A|>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>


A different color can be applied to the Alert using the color argument. This will determine the default icon used in the Alert, unless overwritten.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" @color="success" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>


A different icon can be used in the Alert using the icon argument. This accepts any icon name.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" @color="success" @icon="bulb" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>

If you need to hide the icon, pass false to the icon argument. This is only an option on page and inline Alerts as compact Alerts require an icon.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" @color="success" @icon={{false}} as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>


To enable dismissibility, pass a callback function to the onDismiss argument. This will add a dismiss button to the Alert. When that button is clicked, the callback function will be executed.

Given the variety of use cases and contexts in which alerts are used across products, application teams will need to implement the callback function.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" @color="warning" @onDismiss={{this.noop}} as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>


Actions can be passed to the component using one of the suggested Button or Link::Standalone contextual components.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>
  <A.Button @text="Your action" @color="secondary" {{on "click" this.yourOnClickFunction}} />
  <A.Link::Standalone @color="secondary" @icon="arrow-right" @iconPosition="trailing" @text="Another action" @href="#" />

Structured content

When needed, the Description contextual component can contain logic, rich HTML, or structured content.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" @color="success" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
    The description can contain
    {{#if true}}conditional logic{{/if}}, Ember components, and HTML tags, like
    <strong>strong text</strong>,
    <em>emphasized text</em>,
    <Hds::Link::Inline @color="secondary" @href="#">inline</Hds::Link::Inline>
    <LinkTo @route="index">links</LinkTo>.

You can pass more than one D.Description contextual component to have multiple description lines.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" @color="success" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>First line of description.</A.Description>
  <A.Description>Second line of description.</A.Description>

Generic content

Use the Generic contextual component to insert custom content. Generic content will appear after the title, description, and actions. Application teams will need to implement spacing, layout, and styling for generic content.

Use this method with caution and as an escape hatch. Contact the Design Systems Team to check that the solution is conformant and satisfies accessibility criteria.

<Hds::Alert @type="inline" as |A|>
  <A.Title>Title here</A.Title>
  <A.Description>Description here</A.Description>
    [your content here]

Component API

type enum required
  • page
  • inline
  • compact
Sets the type of alert.
color enum
  • neutral (default)
  • highlight
  • success
  • warning
  • critical
Sets the color scheme for background, border, title, and description, which cannot be overridden.

color results in a default icon, which can be overridden.
icon string | false
Override the default icon name, which is determined by the color argument.

accepts any icon name, or false, for no icon.
onDismiss function
The alert can be dismissed by the user. When a function is passed, the "dismiss" button is displayed.
This component supports use of ...attributes.

Contextual components

Title, description, actions, and generic content are passed into the alert as yielded components, using the Title, Description, Button, Link::Standalone, Generic keys.

<[A].Title> yielded component
A container that yields its content inside the "title" block. Content inherits its style.

This component supports use of ...attributes.
<[A].Description> yielded component
A container that yields its content inside the "description" block. Content inherits its style.

Accepts complex content, such as logic/conditionals, HTML elements, other Ember components, etc. Styling is applied for simple HTML elements, such as strong, em, a, code/pre. Application teams will need to style the rest of the content.

This component supports use of ...attributes.
<[A].Button> yielded component
A yielded HDS::Button component. It exposes the same API of the Button component, apart from the @size argument, which is pre-defined to be small, and the @color argument that accepts only secondary or tertiary.
<[A].Link::Standalone> yielded component
A yielded HDS::Link::Standalone component. It exposes the same API of the Link::Standalone component, apart from the @size argument, which is pre-defined to be small.
<[A].Generic> yielded component
A component that yields its content.

General recommendations

  • Keep the title short, as this will be the most prominent element when users scan the Alert.
  • Avoid ending the title with a period.
  • Alert descriptions should be short but clear enough to explain what’s happening. We recommend keeping messages under 90 characters.
  • For warning and critical alerts, guide the users on how to prevent or fix the issue.


Use small buttons to avoid competing with other actions on the page. Use more than two actions sparingly.

We recommend using the secondary button variant for primary actions and the tertiary button variant for secondary actions.

For content guidelines on actions, refer to Button and Link documentation.

Usage of critical buttons

Avoid using critical buttons in alerts. We handle the prominence and importance via the styling of the alert container itself. If you need to confirm that the user intended to interact with the action, consider displaying a confirmation modal.


Within page and inline Alerts

When linking to internal and external resources in the Alert, default to using a secondary Standalone Link in the actions area. In the Ember component, these elements are passed as contextual components.

Within the Alert description, use the secondary Inline Link as the default link color. A common use case for this is when linking to multiple resources.

Wrap links to multiple related items on the same page in a list, e.g., when highlighting multiple form validation errors.

Within compact Alerts

As compact Alerts don’t support a title or actions, use secondary Inline Links in the description of the component. This matches the intended hierarchy of the component relative to other Alert types and supports linking to multiple resources.

If there is only one link within the compact alert, it’s acceptable to use the primary color, but this will result in increased prominence and elevated hierarchy.


Don’t mix and match different link colors in the same compact Alert.


Don’t use a Standalone Link in the description of a compact Alert. The description area is intended for inline content, while the Standalone Link is a block-level element.

Standalone Link inside of compact Alert


Page and inline alerts can be configured in a variety of ways. For example:

With icon and title

With icon, title, and description

Title and description only

The title or description should contain the alert type, e.g., “Warning,” if no icon is present.

With actions

With generic content


Page and inline alerts

Anatomy of the page alert

Anatomy of the inline alert

Element Usage
Icon Optional, but recommended
Title Required, if no description; optional, otherwise
Description Required, if no title; optional, otherwise
Actions Optional
Dismiss button Optional
Content Required
Container Required

Compact alerts

Anatomy of the compact alert

Element Usage
Icon Required
Description Required

Conformance rating

Conditionally conformant

Alerts are conformant when there are no interactive elements present inside of the alert. There is future work planned to make this component WCAG conformant by adding support for the correct ARIA roles when interactive elements are contained within the alert.

Best practices


An Alert is a live region with important, usually time-sensitive information. The use of this alert component will cause immediate notifications for users with assistive technology.

Dismissing the alert

Since alerts are not required to receive focus, it should not be required that the user close the alert.

Applicable WCAG Success Criteria

This section is for reference only. This component intends to conform to the following WCAG Success Criteria:

  • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A):
    Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text.
  • 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence (Level A):
    When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined.
  • 1.4.1 Use of Color (Level A):
    Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
  • 1.4.10 Reflow (Level AA):
    Content can be presented without loss of information or functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions.
  • 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast (Level AA):
    The visual presentation of the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s): user interface components; graphical objects.
  • 1.4.12 Text Spacing (Level AA):
    No loss of content or functionality occurs by setting all of the following and by changing no other style property: line height set to 1.5; spacing following paragraphs set to at least 2x the font size; letter-spacing set at least 0.12x of the font size, word spacing set to at least 0.16 times the font size.
  • 1.4.3 Minimum Contrast (Level AA):
    The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1
  • 2.1.1 Keyboard (Level A):
    All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface.
  • 2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap (Level A):
    If keyboard focus can be moved to a component of the page using a keyboard interface, then focus can be moved away from that component using only a keyboard interface.
  • 2.2.1 Timing Adjustable (Level A):
    If there are time limitations set by the content, one of the following should be true: turn off, adjust, extend, real-time exception, essential exception, 20 hour exception.
  • 2.5.3 Label in Name (Level A):
    For user interface components with labels that include text or images of text, the name contains the text that is presented visually.
  • 4.1.1 Parsing (Level A):
    In content implemented using markup languages, elements have complete start and end tags, elements are nested according to their specifications, elements do not contain duplicate attributes, and any IDs are unique.
  • 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A):
    For all user interface components, the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies.
  • 4.1.3 Status Messages (Level AA):
    In content implemented using markup languages, status messages can be programmatically determined through role or properties such that they can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving focus.


If any accessibility issues have been found within this component, let us know by submitting an issue.