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So I'm working on an internal data product that's used mainly by two users (analysts) within the data team.

I've created a user flow, but haven't mapped out the potential errors on the flow during the process. But I'm at a point now where I've created most of the wireframes for the product and a prototype, but I haven't mapped the errors, so haven't been able to create it.

What's the best practices around this? I'm struggling to find anything other than errors in forms in Google.

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Consult with your developers, and test the flow yourself.

The developers are often closest to the error problems. They have to keep track of system capacity and failure states, invalid user input, etc.

This is a good opportunity, in that oftentimes error messages are written by the developers with no ux help involved. These errors can end up written from the point of view of the implementation and debugging, and can help devs find out what's wrong.

The problem is these often very technical, or really vague; they can (and do) confuse users:

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Map out the errors

Once you get a list (you can use a spreadsheet) you can track it to the flows, and consult with best practices.

From the Error Message Guidelines from the Nielsen Norman Group:

Established wisdom holds that good error messages are polite, precise, and constructive. The Web brings a few new guidelines: Make error messages clearly visible, reduce the work required to fix the problem, and educate users along the way.

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  • Thanks Mike, I'll start there. We're going to be redesigning the journey so there might be new errors that arise and it hasn't been built yet, but I'll consult on that with the devs again.
    – Alexa
    Feb 9, 2023 at 10:48

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