We are about to design an email template for an IPAAS company that handle data integration. We have defined the template and its content through various iterations and feedback. We came up with a scenario where, what happens if the detail of the error is empty, what should be the best way to make them understand that the detail of the error is empty, and we are not confusing them.

P.S - We do have also defined proper error message with proper code and data set. The error scenario I am talking about is if the adapter returns an empty detail.

2 Answers 2


The standard for this is the non-descript "Unknown Error", or the slightly more friendly "Something went wrong". You don't know what happened, so you can't communicate any more detail to the user.

That said:

  • If you have control over the source of the errors, you could make sure that the situation where the error message is empty never arises.
  • If the error occurs as part of a moonphase bug and is likely to resolve itself by just running the command again, you may be able to just quietly and automatically retry a few times before emailing the error to the user.
  • If at all possible, you should give the user some clue as to what their next steps might be. This could be a manual retry button in case an automatic retry is inappropriate, this could be a link to a help center article, this could be a contact email for support. Just anything they can do to do something to be able to complete their task eventually, because the alternative is that they might conclude your thing is broken and they'll need to look for some other app to complete their task.

Adding to Leo's answer, something like, "It's not you, it's us." will help the user understand that the problem is likely not due to his internet or wrong action. You will have to make the changes at content level, using simple, considerate language will not overwhelm them.

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