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Linked 0 Does a program need to respond straight to the point or politely? 466 Should error messages apologize? 13 What will be the Best notifications and error messages? 19 Recommendations Secondly, there’s only so much context you can squeeze into the message. Get down on your knees if you have to. Don't use Show/Hide details unless there really is more detail.

Don't use Show/Hide details to show Help information. Since the dawn of home computing, human beings have had a love-hate relationship with computers and all related technologies. is there a null reference where there shouldn't be or is there something worse like a file that should exist is missing, along with the severity of the error, e.g. Google chrome uses a generic error: " Google Chrome quit unexpectedly." - Ignore, Report or Reopen.

Your error message needs to explain the problem as clearly as possible. share|improve this answer answered Nov 20 '08 at 18:22 Jim C 4,8621425 That's a good point, I was looking at it from the users' side, but error messages should more hot questions question feed about us tour help blog chat data legal privacy policy work here advertising info mobile contact us feedback Technology Life / Arts Culture / Recreation Science Computer problems can be the most frustrating thing a user can deal with and I think a little humor is just what is needed.

Yes, I've experienced that problem several times, so I know how hard it feels. For example, it is better to say An unknown error occurred than something that is likely to be inaccurate. If a user sees the message in your program and sends feedback, a luckier case is when you can fathom what your error message meant. In this example, the user doesn't have permission to access a resource.

The base type for an exception is fairly deeply built into any language and usually you can inherit from that to implement your own types. 2. Please try again.

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Some Please share this post on:TweetPrintEmail Filed Under: How To Tagged With: Error Messages, Release Notes, Troubleshooting Guide, User GuidesHave you got these templates? If so, consider showing the problem using a status bars.

The option to contact technical support to solve a problem is always available, and doesn't need to be promoted through error messages. Users often use these error codes to search the Internet for additional information. By doing so, you can provide users with additional information that you can update after the program is released. Anthropomorphize.

Only whether it works. You might see an error message when a download fails. Don't clear incorrect input. For example, we won't typically choose to throw an exception with "User not found." as it doesn’t help us debug in a hurry.

Task problems There is a specific problem performing a task initiated by the user (other than a system, file not found, file format, or security problem). I can go back and try to make some other errors happen, if you like, too. Indicate when the product will be in stock. Speak like a human, and be a consistent extension of the personality of the rest of the application.

Good luck." Nice. Use sentence-style capitalization. Say “Sorry”. There are plenty of great examples of humorous error messages.

Use language that the target users understand and use. One problem with most error messages is that while they indicate that an error has occurred, they don’t mention what steps the user should take to a) avoid this happening again I used login errors just because they were easy to generate (see note above). There's nothing stupid about that.

Craft the main instruction or other corresponding text based on that focus, then choose an icon (standard or otherwise) that matches the text. There’s nothing more frustrating than an error like this one. Recommended alternative: Avoid unnecessary details. Add columns for the error message and the root cause.

Troubleshooting (and how to avoid it) Troubleshooting results when a problem with several different causes is reported with a single error message. Reddit 5. An example of an error message that's very bad for an end-user, but that might be reasonable for a developer, is "Latency cache collided with outbound headers." :-) share|improve this answer This example Rubli provides is a textbook classic.

Do not copy error messages to different places of the code. I've read a few threads but none of them seems to be 100% relevant Recommendations for good resources on writing good error messages Standardized (web) application error messages? [closed] This is Doing so is counter to the encouraging tone of Windows. That’s exactly why we built Raygun in the first place: so you can see the health of your apps, and then fix things.

However, be careful with humour. Write separate error messages for each known issue. Exception: Clear incorrect password and PIN text boxes because users can't correct masked input effectively. Write those words down.