Have you ever encountered an error message that says, "an error occurred, please try again" or something along those lines? How many times has it worked after you tried it again?

Should websites automatically try redoing the action a few times before displaying an error message?

For example, if a form couldn't be submitted, should it try a couple of times before telling the user that there's a problem? Sometimes, the error happened "just by chance" and it won't occur on subsequent attempts. If the website automatically tries again, it can save the user from a bad error message experience.

1 Answer 1


It depends on the nature of the error... on the whole, that sort of error seems to have to do with connectivity or back-end issues, the timing of whose solution may not be easily predicted. You could certainly have the system try several times, but it might cause traffic or bandwidth issues and it might require more development time to implement that multi-attempt than is worth it. And how many times do you try? Twice? Five times?

I think it is more important that the error message itself provide clear information as to what went wrong, as well as any and all possible solutions or alternate options. There is little worse than an error message that says "Something bad happened" with no recourse. At the very least, make sure the user's work is saved or at least recoverable from that point in the event something does go wrong.

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