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Context : Mobile application that syncs to a server to get some numbers.

What is the equivalent of an error message saying that the the server didn't respond (no internet), applying to a number field ?

I can't put "-1" or "0", the user would I have no idea what the problem is. I can add an information pop-in saying that there is an issue with the connection, but what do I put in the number field ?

Here's an example :

There was: -1 visits since your last connection!

There was: ? visits since your last connection!

There was: visits since your last connection!

Some UI elements/images prevent me from deleting the full line

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First of all, your sentence should be congruent with the number of visits. If it's other than one, use "there was %s visit" instead of "there were %s visits". But to your question: use a word like "unknown". Then you'll get this:

There were 0 visits since your last connection!

There was 1 visit since your last connection!

There were 2 visits since your last connection!

There were unknown visits since your last connection!

The message in bold is your error condition.

EDIT:

I just realized that the wording is totally ambiguous. Use the string "an unknown number of" instead of the numeric value so that you'll get:

There was an unknown number of visits since your last connection!

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You need to give an indication to the user that there was a problem. The informational display would alert the user and give a reason. As far as the number field is concerned a change in background color would be an additional clue that there is an issue.

You needn't put in any text into the field. Users will now be aware that there is a problem and where this problem is.

The only thing that's left is to indicate to your users how the problem can be solved. Do they need to wait? Refresh? What do they do now?

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  • Hi, I added some example. I don't how to show the user that the number didn't came back from server, without deleting all the line (some Images/UI composents prevent me from deleting the 'solid' text around the number...
    – Memo36
    Oct 5 '16 at 13:14

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