In 1996, before the days of the covered centre court, at a rain soaked Wimbledon, Cliff Richard performed to the crowd in an effort to keep the entertainment going.
It turns out that Cliff Richard’s technique worked and the crowd stuck around. Why? Because Cliff made the best of a bad situation and rather than being disappointed with the crowd, he took advantage of a bad situation and entertained everybody.
In continuing our Wimbledon theme for the month of July, here at Factory Pattern we have been taking a look at how you recover from a setback and make the best from a bad situation with your website, to ensure your valued users stick around or keep coming back.
When something goes wrong, it is vital that users are kept in the loop to ensure they do not leave. Technical messages full of numbers won’t help them, nor will it entertain them.
What has happened should be communicated in plain English. Imagine if you had to explain the error to someone face-to-face, I expect you would get a very confused and silent response if you just said the word’s “404 error”.
Error messages do not have to be dull or techy. Take the opportunity to make fun of the situation or if all else fails just blame the robots (that’s what Google does).
The following examples show how to both deliver your error message in plain English and how to entertain users when something goes wrong.