A lot of funny 404 pages have been shared recently: carefully crafted memes, funny GIFs, even the odd interactive game. But if the 404 doesn’t help your visitors, then what’s the point?
A visitor could find themselves on a 404 page for one of many reasons: a mistyped address, a bad link from somewhere else, a deleted page or content that has moved elsewhere. While you can prevent errors from moved pages with redirects, you can’t control people’s mistakes.
In this article I’ll be reviewing a few techniques that will help Web designers and UI professionals to improve their error pages in order to engage visitors and improve overall website experience. As C. S. Lewis once said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement”. Web designers should take this to heart.
I’ll be focusing on error and maintenance pages, both from tracking as well as usability perspectives. I’ll also be providing a good number of examples on how to use analytics and defensive design in order to optimize user experience for such pages. First, let’s go over the error pages and cover the questions on how to optimize them efficiently.
The design of 404 error pages is often overlooked and underestimated. However, designed carefully, these pages can make a random visitor stay on your website, take a look around and eventually find the information he or she was looking for in the first place. Effective 404 error pages communicate why a particular page couldn’t be displayed and what users can do next. A search box and list of useful resources (possibly related to the missing page) could be helpful in this case.
No need to be sad!
Unfortunately, there are no more articles in this category. But you can subscribe to our lovely email newsletter to not miss the next one.