While working with large grid tabular data we often time thinking about no data found message. Currently we are using the following formats

  1. Item Specific (no folder found)
  2. Generic (no records found)
  3. Generic(search query return 0 records)
  4. Generic(select filters have no records) and so on

So my question is what will be the best consistent and user friendly format and where should be the message display(currently we are displaying in center of the grid, some where its display)?

  • Why it shouldn't be "No Record Found"?
    – user50470
    Jun 13, 2014 at 12:16

2 Answers 2


We try to use more user friendly text with a call to action in it. This helps the user see why there are no results and how to change things to get results.

For example when our users run reports we say:

"There were no results from that report. You need to adjust your report parameters. You can do this from the edit report interface"

Or if they visit the users section and there are no users on the system we say:

"There are no users yet, click here to add some."

In terms of positioning we centre the text at the top of the results view and italicise it but it really depends on your interface.

  • -1 for the comma splice, though.
    – snowangel
    Jul 22, 2019 at 15:22

Using language with terms like query, filters, and records are all part of the system model - the underlying way the system works - the language of developers.

Instead use the language of the user model - the way the user is thinking.

Eg: The user wants results - so generic message might be:

simple: No results found

longer: No results containing all your search terms were found

Where you place it depends on the context within the layout, but it should always be clearly visible. Without knowing what your layout is like, perhaps try adding it like a slightly faded watermark to the background of the table, horizontally centered within the viewable area and 38% of the way down from the top (golden ratio!).

  • 2
    + 1 for golden ratio!
    – Pir Abdul
    Jun 21, 2011 at 7:49
  • 1
    +1 exactly how I did it - I have to check for my positioning though, golden ratio seems like a great idea!
    – Jan
    Jun 21, 2011 at 8:03
  • As I see it (without beint a native English speaker) the word "records" in an IT context means the parts that make a computer file, but it also has a meaning to normal people like when somebody says "let me check my records", that is similar to the computer file related meaning but is not IT specific. So I'll go with the generic "no records found".
    – Juan Lanus
    Nov 18, 2014 at 20:20

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