One of the most common errors for a website is the “404 Page Not Found Error”. It occurs when users try to access a page that doesn’t exist on your site. When I evaluate the quality of a website, this is usually one of the first places I look. To me, it shows how much the website/business/designer cares about its users.
Here are some quick pointers you should consider when designing your 404 error page to replace the standard version (which is absolutely useless IMO):
- Clearly point out that something is wrong. In other words, don’t mislead your users by just automatically redirecting them to a certain page.
- If possible, figure out what the user is looking for, then offer some tips for finding things on your website accordingly.
- Leave your contact information. If someone is this actively searching on your site, it might not be a bad idea to have him ask you directly.
- Provide some useful links.
- Maybe even have a little fun with the page.
Check out this simple but useful 404 page I made for my WeWobo.com site.
Finally, don’t forget about the “not found” page if your website offers a search function.