What would be a good wording and place on the form for file type error message? I am especially interested in the case when a user may not understand clearly the difference between file types.

  • 4
    Without context there are simply far too many possible solutions to such a question. – Nicholas Pappas Oct 20 '14 at 19:08
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    Why let the error happen in the first place? Design the file picker so it will only accept / see valid files type(s) – paparazzo Oct 20 '14 at 19:30

The placement should be where the user is looking (the submit button and the form). The fact that something went wrong should be made VERY clear: the form changes color, etc...

Re the wording - I'm assuming you're talking about non-techies who are asked to send PDFs (as for example) and send word docs or something else instead. The error msg itself should be written in a non-techie way.

"I'm sorry but I can only read files saved as a PDF. This file was saved as a Microsoft Word document. Please go back to the word doc and "Save As" a PDF and then try uploading again.

  • Better than a "Required filetypes: X, Y, Z." However, assuming they have a specific program may be too much. Background details on what is submitted would help know how well this can go~. – Xrylite Oct 20 '14 at 19:28
  • True. The example msg was too specific. "Please return to your document and Save As a PDF and then try uploading again." would be better. That way you don't have to be concerned about what file type your user uploaded (aside from the fact that it wasn't the expected type.) – Mayo Oct 20 '14 at 19:45

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