Avoid Impersonal Error Messages
Imagine how you’d treat a friend once you welcome them to your home. It’s similar to the way you should treat your website visitors. Treat your visitors like guests and guide them step-by-step. Even when you make it very easy for visitors to enter information, there are some who will make mistakes when filling out a form.
The last thing you want to do is to blame them for it. Avoid impersonal messages that just show an error has occurred, and aren’t very helpful in explaining what was wrong and how to fix it.
Here is a good example of using humor in your error messages. The visitor knows they did something wrong and Mailchimp has let them know what it is with humor.
Here is another example of making light of the situation and letting the visitor know they missed some fields.
One common thing about these well-established sites are their friendly, helpful tones even after the visitor commits an error. The only item recommended in these examples is to use a different color for the error messages. Red is a negative and you don’t want the visitor to feel stupid. A better color would be Yellow for caution, you have made a mistake.
The first step towards making your visitors feel at ease is to talk to them like a human, not a computer when they make mistakes. The simplest way to do this is to not rely on the programmer to write the error messages for you.
Ask yourself the question which attributes describe a good landing page experience and try viewing your site as a visitor landing on your page.