Hot answers tagged

80

Redirection: should I redirect, and if so, where? In general, no. Not unless you're pretty confident that you know where the user actually wanted to go (and in most cases, you won’t). It’s better to give them the explicit error message, and let them decide where to go next. If the user is trying to reach an old URL which has been moved, it's ...


45

You have to go with the first option (stating that the "username or password is invalid"), and this has nothing to do with security. Let's say that I usually use JohnGB as my username, but on your service someone else has that username, so I use JohnGB123 instead. Say I've then forgotten my username and I enter JohnGB as my username, but use my correct ...


41

Just because your brand color is red doesn't make the use of red for errors obsolete, it's just a matter of extent. Take the Viaplay signup form for example: Viaplay has red as their main accent color, which is used throughout the website for actions buttons, icons, header, graphic elements etc.. however, in the form they do tone down the use. They ...


30

This is something that you have to be careful with, because you don't know what your users' state of mind is when your application is crashing. As always, it really depends on what kind of application you're writing, and how serious your users are likely to be about it. In the case of something like Google Chrome (as @Josh's answer contains), it's hard to ...


28

The first problem with having multiple 404 pages, each dedicated to a particular area is that you assume users were in the right part of the website at the point when they fell on to the 404. Bearing in mind that many links come from search engines and not necessarily from within the website, then I don't think you can guarantee that a dedicated 404 is ...


27

The point of a good error page is to apologize for the error, explain what happened in layman terms, what might be responsible for this, and what next steps to take. Yet, error 500 rarely supplies a good explanation so the error page has to be vague. This results in users starting to refresh the page hoping it would miraculously render, even in cases of ...


26

In general, using only color to indicate information is bad for accessibility reasons. Red/green colorblindness is the most common and occurs in 8% of males. Using an icon, like an X or warning sign, is the best way to go. If you must differentiate color for business reasons (i.e. people at the top think it should be a different color), then pick one that ...


24

Many applications display humorous crash messages (see Chrome's "He's dead, Jim!"). The key here is that the application also provide means to the user to recover the application to some degree (reloading the page, learning more about errors, or sending feedback to Chrome). The ability for the user to do something about the crash, in addition to the ...


22

I'm not saying it's perfect, but we launched a new 404 page this year and we included options asking people to give us feedback when they find a broken link. Consequently we get a few emails a week which are helping us tidy up our site and fix problems. We also included an obvious search box to try and help people find what they were looking for. We're ...


17

I'm going to give some advice from a Security standpoint + UX. I wouldn't sacrifice either one for the other. Have both. There's an important question of secure practices in your question. The Best Practice from a security standpoint is to not identify which entry was invalid, and have a generic answer. Let's ask What Would Google Do and take Google's ...


17

HTTP error codes are primarily useful for support and debugging. In the early days of the internet, almost all users were technical, and so having them made a lot of sense. Today, it still makes sense having them visible, but that should not be the only information that you provide. Explain it like a human for the rest of the world to understand what ...


17

404 and 500 are most common error codes and 404 is the most famous one. If your target audience have exposure to computer as educational basis or a mid level surfer he/she will understand as what 404 means and not much of other status codes. Still it is not a good practice to display error codes as only or prominent way of communicating technical ...


14

Instead of using colors, draw visual emphasis through other means, such as using danger icons, font weight, and/or jagged outlines. Here's a an example, excessively using all three of these cues: EDIT: The comments below suggest that I didn't make it clear enough in my original post that using all three of these cues together would be excessive. (I'd ...


13

This was originally a comment, because I had assumed it was considered and not used prior to this question being posted.. At the moment, these are your URLs (with "summary" being a type of action, presumably): /region /region/{action}/{id} Your question is, what should you do if someone tries to access it without an ID, like this: /region/{action} I ...


12

You state that your application would have limited functionality, even if this "error" occurs. Thus any over-eager error reporting is likely to interfere with the limited-functionality version of the application, either by obscuring it or by accidentally convincing the user that something went wrong and the app is now non-functional. I would advise against ...


12

Error information should be tailored to the audience that needs to take action on the error. If it is the user, the user needs to get a user-friendly or at least user-understandable accounting of what the error is and what is expected of him. Nobody would expect ALL users to know what "404" means. If it is the systems administrator, or the network ...


12

You could better communicate which information is essential by reorganizing the form. I would move postcode and city to a single line, and put it near name, since these seem to be the crucial fields: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups Also, I agree with BrunoH that a message explaining any validation errors helps.


11

Treat a 404 page like an error message, which it basically is. A good error message offers the users way to overcome the problem. In your example, a 404 for meetings could offer possible matches for meetings, a 404 for recordings could offer recordings, and the same for documents. The possible solutions are different for each type of entity, and the reasons ...


10

My first thought is that most people will abandon the secondary naming scheme you assign each colour, and will probably call each state by its colour. The first real-world example of this behaviour that comes to mind is the American Department of Homeland Security's (discontinued) colour-coded threat level warning system. You will note that, even in the ...


10

I would go with option three: show both as separate messages. The reason is that it makes it clear to the user that there are two distinct system states as a result of their action. One of Jakob Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics is visibility of system status: The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate ...


10

Since the validation is for two fields they should be marked together. I prefer, when the UI says what's wrong. So I sugest to have a message below the validation like "Please fill in either a city or postal code". Something like this: The highlight should only disappear, when the conditions are met.


9

I think it's a really good idea to provide navigation or a search capability on an error page, because once the user realizes that something has gone wrong her next thought will most likely be "what do I do now?". We, as designers, can and should help the user make that decision. This example from Carsonified is one of my favorites: The tone might not be ...


9

Looking at your form, I have a couple of concerns about your feedback mechanism You are relying too much on color to communicate content or feedback and a colorblind user might not be able to see the difference between the two forms and might wonder what is the error is. I just ran your "error image" against a color blindness checker and in two types of ...


8

I guess there are no rational reason to treat a 500 differently than any other error. However, when an error is within the 5xx range you may run into any of the following issues: The server configuration is invalid—not just affecting the current resource but the entire site, thus rendering a main menu useless (it's just a link to a lot of other error ...


7

It depends on who "the user" is. HTTP error codes are definitely cryptic and unhelpful to users using a browser. Different web servers will each have their way of displaying these pages, with varying levels of user-friendliness out of the box. In most cases web developers can override these, but many times this will only be done for the most common ...


7

There is, I believe, research on making error messages more lighthearted and accessible (I recall having read it some point in the last 7 years of researching, but cannot recall where). The thing is, an error message displayed to the user should indicate that a problem occurred that was out of the control of the system. It should provide any relevant ...


7

I think it's ok to make guesses about where your users were trying to go, but always provide the correct HTTP response code to indicate that the item was not found or was "Permanently Moved" and consider showing a simple message on the page in case the user really was trying to go somewhere they thought was legitimate and are confused why you redirected ...


7

Yes, it’s a good idea. Especially if you notice that there are some misspelled links out there, e.g. if someone links to your login page with /login. instead of /login (because the URL auto-detection of their CMS thought that the dot for ending a sentence belongs to the URL). Preventively adding such redirects is probably not of a high priority, however, ...


7

I always appreciate a witty 404 page since not only does it convey that the Page Does Not Exist but also contributes to an experience that relates to your brand. For example, I am a Part Time employee at Haptik and they have the No Calls, Only Text approach to improve Customer Service. Hence, here's what they have done to theme their 404 page: Observe ...


7

I'll try to improve on the suggestions by illustrating the error scenario and suggesting a different form layout. The fieldset is appropriate when the fields are related. In this case the mandatory nature of the last name, city or postal code creates the relation. The first name comes first as it is logically tied to the last name field but stays out of ...



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