Secret ingredients to quality software


Messages - Do you avoid giving an "Error" message for validation purposes?

Last updated by Rebecca Liu on 27 Nov 2012 04:27 am (over 8 years ago) See History

If you do a search and no matches are found, display a message indicating zero results were returned rather than an error message.

Figure: Bad Example - No matches found on searching is not an "Error"

However, a user thinks that either:

  1. They have done something wrong (i.e. they are incompetent) OR
  2. The software is broken (i.e. your application is incompetent)

Forcing the user into this opinion is a good way to make them avoid using your software in the future.

Instead, use the term "Information" when validation is required.

Figure: Good Example - Only use "Error" when appropriate

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