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

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4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
494 views

Error message that always appears in the same place

Is it okay if error messages always appear in the same place on a website? I know the right thing to do is place errors inline, close to where the error occured. But there's hundreds of errors that ...
5
votes
2answers
205 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 ...
9
votes
12answers
719 views

Bulk actions: what to do when not all items support an action

Picture the following scenario: user selects a bunch of items, and the 'bulk actions' box appears; user selects an action that not all items support (for one reason or another). What do you do in ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Error-message to indicate invalid data has been entered?

Sorry for the subjective question.... I'm working on the micro-copy that appears on a web-form when a user submits invalid data: eg: invalid date/time. We've used inline validation and date time ...
6
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Handling multiple “alert” popups ?

An iPad application we are building throws an alert window for various error conditions. We are considering building a custom UI for the alerts since the default alert window is fairly annoying. My ...
5
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
43
votes
14answers
2k views

How do I get users to read error messages?

If your intended audience is nontechnical you find yourself at a severe risk that your users will plain ignore the carefully worded error messages, either staring in shock at them, calling and yelling ...
24
votes
13answers
2k views

Is it better to prevent a forbidden action or display an error/explanation message?

There are multiple examples, so I'll pick a specific one to focus the question. Let's say a user can have specific characteristics (or permissions): Admin, Virtual, External, Financial, etc. To ...
3
votes
2answers
275 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 ...
29
votes
12answers
894 views

Blocking IE6: Deny outright or warn of issues?

We're looking at (finally) retiring IE6 support. I've always been a big fan of graceful degradation but we're really pushing ahead and trying to embrace features that we're simply not going to want ...