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Messages from a tangled web

Rimmer, J; Wakeman, I; Sheeran, L; Sasse, MA; (2000) Messages from a tangled web. In: Proceedings of the OZCHI 2000: Interfacing reality in the new millennium. (pp. pp. 4-11). CSIRO Mathematics, Information and Statistics: Sydney , Australia. Green open access

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Abstract

HCI has an established history of criticising system error messages and offering design guidelines for their improvement. This paper continues this tradition by exploring users’ attitudes and recovery strategies to web error messages, examining the variety of messages produced by popular web-sites and presenting design guidelines for error messages. We believe this is the first academic work on web error messages. We first investigated users’ conceptions of error messages and recovery strategies for a broad section of users (novice to expert). This revealed that standard error messages have a poor construction, which goes against most (if not all) of the guidelines for writing effective error messages. We then examined a range of popular information and ecommerce sites from the US, Europe and Australia and we offer a critique of the different styles of dealing with errors. Finally we provide a checklist of design considerations for use by web designers and site managers that pay close attention to good customer service and experience.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Messages from a tangled web
Event: the OZCHI 2000: Interfacing reality in the new millennium
ISBN: 0643066330
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.ozchi.org/ozchi2009/history.html
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Error messages, customer experience, Web, eCommerce, 404, design guidelines
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/20323
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