173

Don't write error messages blaming the user. There is no actual benefit to you from doing this. In the event that someone accidentally triggers these error messages, you damage your relationship with them. Even if you do manage to tell a single malicious user that you know they're malicious, it isn't going to make them like you any better. All you're ...


147

When we’re dealing with Banking and money transfer, it is an exceptionally bad idea. Finance isn’t supposed to be funny, since it’s a very serious business. Instead, error messages should be clear and to the point what is actually wrong, and not some random fun message. When a user receives an error message, she/he is already under pressure, since users don’...


93

No. Trying to give applications personality is one of those things that's just not well thought out. It definitely seems like it's one of those solutions that developers came up with and never user tested. In a classic UI UX failure, developers came up with the talking paper clip solution in response to this same issue: https://archive.org/details/g4tv.com-...


79

I'd go with a color that'll always retain stark contrast. I'd also avoid venturing too far outside of the styles that that users are generally familiar with. Because you're working in an atypical style, if you deviate and use unfamiliar elements you may risk confusing a percentage of your users. Here's what i think i'd recommend.


75

I would recommend against an auto-correct as domain name extensions are about to change drastically, to the point where an email ending with "sitename.anything" will be valid. Consider an inline check, which means it doesn't cause the frustration of the usual ENTRY > SUBMIT > ERROR MESSAGE > RE-ENTRY > SUBMIT name@company.co [!] Did you mean .com? Asking ...


69

I would go with something in the shade of the background, but have a more red text in the alert. You can add a border in the shade of the text to make it stand out as an error more, as well.


67

Just a guess: If they used black (minimum intensity for all three color channels) or white (maximum intensity for all color channels) you might think they are off, so instead they use only one of their base color channels (out of Red Green Blue). Red light may remind some people of an alarm and others of a district in Amsterdam. Green may seem like ...


63

Personalisation Igor. Content personalisation can be appropriate at times, like in an email or after login. Amongst a few, it makes the system appear more 'human', and can facilitate some personal 'bond' with the user. But one can argue that by attaching a name to a notification you won't achieve that (I see proper personalisation as real user-dependent ...


59

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that." That scene from 2001: A space odyssey is a good example for why this can be a dangerous practice. Beware of anthropomorphising a computer to the point where the user starts ascribing malice to it. Error messages need to be non-personal to avoid the user feeling like the computer is complaining at them, or worse,...


50

tl;dr: Some of the invoices are not eligible for payment. They were excluded from payment processing. [details] Error messages should separate two things: Information for the end user (What they can do to "fix things") Diagnostics for support and for the developers Of course the developer is happy because they see what they want. But it's not helpful ...


43

A bright yellow background with black text would work well. Fits the colour scheme of a warning sign.


42

I would say that you can make the error messages more personal and "human sounding" without resorting to trying to be funny. For example, a message that says "Error processing transaction" can be translated to "We are very sorry, but something went wrong." "We are very sorry, but something went wrong and we did not send this transaction." They key ...


38

There are two big problems, from an internationalization perspective: How sure are you that your Name data contains the name the user is called by? Getting your name data format correct is a classically difficult problem. As soon as you add name wildcards to your error messages, they will become much more difficult to translate to other languages. Without ...


36

I think the blue goes back to the days of consumer-grade video cassette recorders with on-screen message displays. Superimposing an image on a video signal requires that one know which parts of the signal will be displayed where on the screen. If the video signal includes valid horizontal and vertical sync pulses, one can measure the time since the last ...


28

This is a very common situation with client-side validation In a world with no budget or time constraints, yes...of course users would be better off with more information. In the real world, you probably have far better priorities. The only time when users would see a server-generated form error is: (a) if your client-side JS is broken (in which case, you'...


28

Include the 404 — problem solvers will appreciate it There’s no better or more concise way to communicate the nature of the problem to experts who may have to help your user. “404” on your error pages is not harmful Just to get this out of the way, including the error code is not bad, confusing, or annoying. If it were, major web companies like Google and ...


27

The first thing you have to find out is, if it's really a troll. Your Contact Form and Feedback Form examples have nothing to do with trolls. It's just a feedback message. The third example sounds like a hacker or script kiddie who's trying something, also no troll. So for the first two examples, choose a error message that tells what to do, but does not ...


27

The first problem with having multiple 404 pages, each dedicated to a particular area is that you assume users were in the right part of the website at the point when they fell on to the 404. Bearing in mind that many links come from search engines and not necessarily from within the website, then I don't think you can guarantee that a dedicated 404 is ...


25

How about pushing the development team to use some logic? Based on the selected records - let them switch the string of feedback message. For instance, if the user selects only one record to delete, the system should understand it and show a message as 'The message has been deleted'. If the user selects multiple records to delete, the system should show ...


24

You shouldn't lie to your users. If the issue is a 404, don't use language that implies it's a 500; the server's not broken, and that page may never exist. There's no reason you can't use user-friendly language to communicate the actual issue, however. Plenty of sites use 404 language that apologize in human-friendly language for the page not existing, and ...


23

Well, let’s work it from end to beginning: ”!!” Lose the exclamation points. Don’t yell at the user. It’s rude and insulting. ”image files” Does the user know what an “image file” is? Do they understand “image” or “file”? Conduct some user testing, but I’m guessing “picture” is more appropriate. And what is not an image file? Maybe the user mis-...


23

The standard color for error messages is red, see this question : One important point to understand is that using conventional colors for errors is important because they make the errors more noticeable. User being annoyed by the color of error message is lot less of a problem than user not being able to complete the form because they didn't ...


21

You might try adding a white border, then play with the background color. The one color that communicates 'something is wrong' louder than red is the color of death, black.


20

As a general principle, I always think of error messages as inferior design/ UI, which in most cases can and should be avoided. If the user interaction triggers an error message, why would the UI allow users the option in the first place? Examples: error message "password is not good enough" -> better: live indicator to signal password strength error ...


19

The easiest way to implement this is to say If a matching account was found an email was sent to user@email.com to allow you to reset your password. I've seen this on a few sites lately, though at the moment they are all escaping me. It struck me as a great way around this issue. It confirms to them if they entered the email account they intended to, and ...


17

That's an accessibility nightmare! Try reversing your error message styles: Red text on a white background.


16

There is no one right answer for this, it depends much on context. For larger forms it makes sense to have a summary of errors as well as near the specific field that needs fixing, this is ideal for when a user submits a form and the page will reload, they see this at the top and can take action. Here is a good example of this: As a bonus, these could ...


16

404 and 500 are most common error codes and 404 is the most famous one. If your target audience have exposure to computer as educational basis or a mid level surfer he/she will understand as what 404 means and not much of other status codes. Still it is not a good practice to display error codes as only or prominent way of communicating technical problem/...


16

In this case since the user has tried to upload an invalid format, regardless that it is optional, it counts as an error. Warnings and Errors can be defined as such: WARNINGS should appear when users are about to do something that is destructive or when the result of an action is unexpected, but isn't an error. And ERROR messages are used to inform ...


15

Showing a message box is not a good solution in most cases (1). It's even worse when the message box contains a message such as "Please Select only Image Files!!" (2). And it gets worse in a context where the user is uploading a file which is not interpreted by the application as an image (3). Message box dilemma The message box is extremely easy to ...


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