Have you ever run into an error message that just didn’t make any sense? I know I have! It’s rather annoying to get a notice that says the system will be shut down but not telling why. Have I done something wrong? Did I push a button I wasn’t supposed to? WHAT HAPPENED??
There are guidelines for designing error messages. The main point to remember is to tell the user:
- something has gone wrong (Use a red exclamation point, for example, to get the users attention)
- what has gone wrong (Use sensible language. Most users don’t understand technical terms)
- what to do about it (Help the user to recover from the occurred error)
So NOT like this:
NOTE: This error message was made for this occasion with Atom Smasher’s Error Message Generator.