information displayed when an unexpected condition occurs, usually on a computer or other device

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5
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I best tell a user that his/her account will be locked if they enter the wrong credentials too many times?

We are going to add an additional layer of security to our product by locking user accounts for a short period of time (configurable in the product, but probably 5-10 minutes) when a user has tried to ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Is red text ever acceptable for use in non-error content?

I've always gone by the rule that red text should only be used in displaying error messages. Can anyone show me any usability blog/book excerpts that prove or disprove this rule? What are your own ...
5
votes
2answers
198 views

“soft” error messaging. Is that a thing? Precedence?

We're on a project where the concept of a 'soft' error for a web form came up. It's an interesting idea, but I can't actually think of an example of it being used in the past, so perhaps it's not a ...
5
votes
3answers
168 views

How do I inform the user a component has stopped working?

This is my design challenge: The idea is to have a separate component integrated into a website, displaying data retrieved from another system. When a problem occurs with this other system, we are ...
5
votes
1answer
240 views

Best way to handle a system failure (not the user's fault)

In my application, we're very dependent on a service to provide some information that the user can interact with. It's possible that the service could be down, or in some invalid state to where any ...
5
votes
3answers
686 views

best approach to notification/error message notifications

in the application i'm working on, there are 2 types of notifications: Confirmation messages (successful action results) and Alerts (unsuccessful action results/errors and Session expiration prompts). ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Error dialog for several parallel operations

I have a situation that I'm not sure how to handle, UI wise. Our program initiates several parallel and threaded operations. Each of these operations can fail thus requiring an error dialog. The ...
4
votes
4answers
275 views

What's the point in asking the user to do what an application can do itself?

I recently logged in my Microsoft account with my 25 characters password and saw this: The only reasonable reaction I could have was: "WTF! Are they out of their mind to ask me to shorten the ...
4
votes
4answers
878 views

Best error message to display when too many users logging onto web system

I have a website that started experiencing issues when too many people are trying to log into the website at the same time (usually at the start of the business day). Are there some examples of or ...
4
votes
3answers
411 views

Where should a 404 page link back to?

This might be a no-brainer but I can't decide whether the 404 error page should link back to the page, from which the user has come, or should it direct to the main page where the user can navigate to ...
4
votes
3answers
277 views

Turn 403s into 404s?

I am currently working on a web application where there are different levels of access. Users can get access to some areas of the application, but may not be allowed to access another area. The ...
4
votes
2answers
981 views

Why avoid the word “please” in error messages? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should an interface ever say “please”? According to Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines (UX Guide) for Windows 7 and Windows Vista: Avoid the ...
4
votes
2answers
200 views

How should removed pages be handled in e-commerce sites?

On my e-commerce website I create many sale event/campaign related categories which are put offline after a specific event/campaign is over. Lots of customers bookmarks those category page and then ...
4
votes
3answers
224 views

validation message placement

Is it better to have the validation message next to the label or the control? download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups Update: To be clear, I'm not referring to ...
4
votes
2answers
362 views

How to notify the user of a system error (out of their control)?

What's an easy-to-understand error message for situations where the error is a system error (out of the control of the user and cannot be fixed by the user)? Here's a few that I came up with, but ...
4
votes
2answers
480 views

Error Message Advice (for asynchronous/background tasks)

We have a web application which currently performs a number of intensive, time-consuming tasks. The initial design didn't really cope with the levels of information we're now dealing with and we're ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

Best practices for data file upload error handling

I am currently revisiting a data upload field in our system. These files (csv, xlsx) contain thousands of rows, which can produce hundreds of errors. Currently, the way we handle this is to spit out a ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Best Way to provide Notifications to user using Metro UI approach?

I'm a developer, not a designer or UI designer. I'm developing a system and trying to use Metro UI concepts. What is the best (or correct) way to provide a user notifications about errors using ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

How should refer to data validation that happens mid-process?

I'm developing some guidelines and I can't work out what to call the type of data validation that takes place as the user enters data. i.e. an error message appears as soon as the field is unfocused. ...
3
votes
3answers
170 views

Is displaying search bar in Search Result/Error 404 page redundant (when it's already on sidebar/header)?

Is it redundant to display the search bar on Search Result or Error 404 page again when the website already has it on the sidebar/side navigation or on header? I've always felt it's kind of redundant ...
3
votes
5answers
271 views

Can text area be used as error/warning/notification output?

Problem. While developing an enterprise application I faced a problem of communicating various error/warning/notification messages to the user while they are filling out some form or performing other ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Kiosk: If a function is not available, should there be a notification screen?

So if my kiosk cannot print or access account info—which are important features—should I introduce a screen to inform the user about that error after sign in (2nd screen in the example below), or ...
3
votes
2answers
271 views

In a web application, what can I do to allow error messages to be efficent and functional?

While alerts force users to react, sometimes the widget gets lost behind other windows and then blocks the whole application. What other ways can be used to make sure a user will take notice of an ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the best way to convey to a user a reason for failure using an icon?

I have a scenario where the user needs to test a connection by clicking on a button. Once clicked, they will be provided one of the follow results: successful (check mark icon) and failed (red x icon) ...
3
votes
2answers
127 views

What is the best way to notify a user he doesn't have an account

As a helpdesk engineer I'm offering support on a rather big Belgian E-commerce website. While we have a vast number of users there are also many users whose account is deleted automatically after 1 ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

Contextual error message

I am designing a new feature for a CMS my company uses. A few things you should know: We have content editors working mainly on adding pages to the system. We have thousands of pages, and no one ...
3
votes
4answers
152 views

Error handling - what to do with large error list?

We are rewriting our desktop application and we are thinking of improving the error handling and error notifications. Currently, it is only based on modal dialogs. But some of the messages contain ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

Number of error messages to display

This question is related more to a server side error such as a timeout or a database not being reached rather than a user error or validation problem. Let's say we have a web page which pulls data ...
3
votes
3answers
49 views

a way to inform user about a failed paste operation

In my application if the user tries to press CTRL + V to paste something with nothing really in the clipboard .I wish to inform the user about the same meaning a informative message saying that ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Generic or dedicated error pages

The most common errorpage is the 404 error. Right now we are working on a website for a big client with several country websites. My idea for http errors is: One generic page which appologies for ...
3
votes
3answers
249 views

Should I show a grids with empty search results?

I'm working on an application where i m searching on 3 categories(All,people, company) and showing results in separate tables for all the above categories. http://i.imgur.com/kK4o9.png here are the ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Showing error in different pane in ipad app

I have lot of panes (5 - 6) in a iPad app. Each pane depends on a different web service from different URLs. What is the best way to show an error in one pane if the corresponding web service is not ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Alerts, notifications, (status) messages - looking for real practical examples [closed]

Are there somewhere real practical examples of texts for alerts, notifications and status messages? I thought of something like a library where you could search for an area and find ideas and ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

How should an error message explain to users that they input the wrong URI scheme?

On my site, users can add a link to a website. The validation checks if it has a scheme (e.g. http, ftp). If it has no scheme, it adds 'http'. But what if the user enters an ftp link, for example? I'm ...
2
votes
4answers
761 views

How to show user login password is wrong after the first time e.g. flash “wrong password” message

This is a follow up to this question asking about what should be displayed when a user enters a wrong password. Here is my current design: when logging into a website if the user enters a wrong ...
2
votes
4answers
356 views

Is it necessary for error messages to have cause and fix in them

We are developing mobile applications, and our screen space is really limited. But our documentation guy is asking us to add long error messages that have cause.fix kinda format. So error messages are ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Should 404 page redirect to an error page?

Suppose user hits a dead link /foo. I have two options. I can respond with the 404 HTTP status, X-Robots-Tag: noindex and display a custom error message to the user. Or, I can redirect user with ...
2
votes
3answers
131 views

Should I warn that drop down filters are mandatory?

When dealing with various drop down list of options, with one acting as a filter to another and the last one being the desired option per se, it is more advisable to treat all drop downs as obligatory ...
2
votes
3answers
157 views

How do you process the errors in your applications?

I have a new application with a status bar that I want to use to display the errors that occur but only as long as they're relevant. For example if the user clicks on a button to do an operation and ...
2
votes
7answers
178 views

Canceling/limiting a user's search

I'm developing a reporting application where a user can make some searches on our database against an extremely large data set and display them in a table on a web page. One of the searches has the ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

Can I ask a user to provide Mandatory description of the error?

In my app when an unhandled error occurs a popup window opens. It has a field to add additional info but it's optional. This is completely anonymous. Due to security issues I cannot use a stack-trace ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Do we need to indicate that an activity that ran very quickly didn't error-out immediately?

We have a system that has a few maintenance activities that run very quickly (less than a second). Problem is, when users look at the log file for the system, seeing an activity that ran for 0 seconds ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

specific vs generic error messages

So in this site we have an array of error messages. In the case something goes wrong, we pick the specific error message show it to the user. There are many instances where the error should occur only ...
2
votes
1answer
447 views

Design pattern for handling network connection errors

In case you didn't know, people are increasingly using smartphones. One problem that comes with smartphones is a shaky and unreliable internet connection. For "static" websites that primarily serving ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

What's reasonable time lag before displaying a timeout message?

We're developing an online application and wondered what is the average/expected/reasonable about of time to make the user wait after form submission before we say "Hey sorry, we think there's a ...
2
votes
3answers
342 views

What is the best approach to disallow an empty search?

I want to disallow users from searching without a query string (at least one character). To achieve this, I tried to disable the search submit button when the search box is empty, and restoring the ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Displaying and logging random series of words instead of cryptic error codes [closed]

I looking for an article that I read once but cannot find now. The author described his approach for error messages: instead of displaying (and logging) a code (e.g. 987345345EXRTET), he would always ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Replace polling with clever simulation

On our website, users can type in their phone number to verify it. We initiate the call and pop up a verification code on the screen. However the dialog box stays up indefinitely, until the user ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

How might Windows show a loading status instead of just freezing?

Every now and then, you'll have a bunch of desktop applications open in Windows. Let's say you have a word processor, a web browser, a music player, and video game open simultaneously. All of these ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

Guiding the user through your page

We have a simple administrative page for managing stores open and close dates. Upon initial rendering, the page is readonly. Checking a box labeled edit in the top right of the page, enables the ...