We are developing a system that have different levels of access. Some features are only available for high level users. What would be a good error message for a user with low access trying to access a high level feature?

We can't hide the feature, because the user can ask his superior to release access to the feature.

I thought about using this message:

"You don't have access to this feature. Please, contact your administrator."

But I think it sounds kinda rude.


In our online store, the customers have access to all the products to see, check and buy, but only some of them has access to the high resolution images download of our products.

That is why we have customer categories, for example "Client" and "Professional" and each user has one or more categories assigned. All the categories can see the general area of each zone but each category has access and restriction properties to certain areas. When a user from another category wants to access to a specific area the web simply asks to enter the password once again, if there's not permission, the alert say "Zone for (as an example) Professionals Clients".


You can put a more positive spin on it.

"This feature requires XYZ license. Please, contact your administrator if you are interested."

I would also recommend having an icon that indicates features that require a different license.

There are many patterns for this on consumer products, but B2B applications create a challenge since the end user does not have the ability to upgrade on their own.


It ultimately depends on the voice and tone of your product/system.To hit your users’ needs and expectations, and to make your messages sharp and effective, your messaging has to be well-researched and developed — which are basic aspects of the voice and tone design process.

In the past, I have found using slight humor to be helpful in such scenarios, where you are restricting users from performing an action.

An example would be - "This page is too boring for you to see, so we've kept it hidden from you. You can contact admin support for assistance"

This could be accompanied with some humorous imagery.

  • Humor is great but you also need to tell the user why. Boring is not an answer as that is subjective. Nov 27 '18 at 14:25

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