Error Message Samples
Login error message
Scenario: The user has entered the wrong email address to sign in to their account.
Challenge: Tell the user to enter the right email in 40 characters or less.
My solution appears in red text.
This exercise was seemingly straightforward. However, since it’s a potential security issue to specify whether or not it’s the username or password that is incorrect, I opted to broaden the possibility that either field entry is incorrect. I use the word “Typo” in the error message, steering clear of any potentially shaming language like “invalid” or “wrong”. I keep the voice polite and efficient.
App error message
Scenario: a user is shopping using a price comparison app that boasts “real-time” pricing on items. As they are checking the price of an item, something goes wrong. The problem is unknown.
Challenge: write a message that informs the user that they cannot access the app right now. You cannot specify "why" the app doesn't work, you also want them to continue using the app.
Headline: 30 characters max
Body: 120 characters max
Button(s): 15 characters max
My thought process here was to first lighten the mood of the user with a witty yet circumspect image and headline. This particular situation, a shopper who’s been thwarted in their quest for a great deal, while not dire, is an annoyance. Offering an apology, a coupon, and some reassurance will ease their pain and most likely they will return to the app in search of a great deal.