Banners slide on the screen, stay there a couple of seconds and then slide away. Banners are good for notifications of emails. You get a quick look at new messages and you can go to Mail later when you want to read the message.
Alerts slide onto the screen and stay there until you act on them. You can either close an alert or snooze the alert and the alert will close and come back in 20 minutes.
For either type of on-screen notification, you can click on the notification itself and you will be taken to the app that sent the notification.
When Notification Center is opened, the entire screen moves left and Notification Center shows on the right side of the screen. There are a couple of ways to open Notification Center.
- The easiest way is to click the three-line icon at the top right of the Menu Bar. (The magnifying class for Spotlight has moved one spot to the left.)
- The tricky way is to place two fingers to the right of the trackpad (off of the trackpad surface) and slide your two fingers left on to the surface of the trackpad. This works best on a notebook Mac because you have the wrist rests to the sides of the trackpad. It works with the Magic Trackpad too but it is harder to get the gesture down properly. In fact, even on my Macbook Pro, it took a while for me to get the gesture down pat. If you need a visual of how this works, go to the Trackpad panel of System Preferences and hover over Notification Center. A little video will show you how it works.
- You can assign a Hot Corner to Notification Center. Go to the Screen Saver view of the Desktop & Screen Saver panel of System Preferences and click the Hot Corners... button
- You can assign a keystroke to open Notification Center. Go to the Keyboard Shortcuts view of the Keyboard pane of System Preferences. Choose Mission Control in the left pane, check the checkbox for Notification Center and choose a keystroke to use.
It seems like I have over complicated Notification Center. Once you get the basics concepts down, Notification Center is just a place you can pop into every so often to see if you have any missed notifications.