Labels draw attention to new or important content.
When to use labels
- To draw attention to new, important content on a page that might otherwise be missed.
- To filter results with one or more tags.
- To indicate the number of new or unread items within a container. For example, to indicate the number of unread emails within a person’s inbox.
When to consider something else
- When users are likely to confuse a static label with a button. For example, when the label appears in the same area of the page as buttons.
- To call attention to new or updated content, consider changing the background color of the object itself or experiment with changing the font weight.
- When users already expect content to be updated frequently. For example, on a site dedicated to breaking news. In this case placing the new content at the top may be enough.
How to use labels
- Users frequently confuse labels as buttons. Always conduct usability testing to make sure your particular implementation is not causing frustration.
- If your labels are not interactive, be sure to disable hover, focus, and active styles.
- Don’t mix interactive and static labels on your site. Once you establish a pattern for how labels behave, users will expect that behavior every time.
- Don’t overdo it — if everything on a page is called out as important, nothing is important.
When labels are used to call out new content that is dynamically loaded onto a page, be sure to use ARIA live regions to alert screen readers of the change.