When your web visitors stumble upon a 404 page, it doesn’t have to end in disappointment. This is your chance to make up for the faulty navigation. You can take the wheel and guide them to take a step back or to go to another page that may interest them. The best way to present navigation options is through a 404 page.
These are the tips you can apply when designing a 404 error page:
- Add images that go well with your message.
- First, you to think of what you are going to say to your web visitors. The next thing that you should do is to find an image or create one that fits your message. Usually, the first thing that gets noticed is the image displayed. The chosen image helps stress your desired message.
- Limit the given options.
- Don’t overwhelm your already frustrated web visitors. Aside from the stunning visual as previously stated, also offer them a clear navigation. Sure, colorful and funny images will entertain them a bit, but they are there because they are looking for something.
- Help them reach their goal, which is to find a specific page. The next thing you can do is to offer navigation options. Don’t push them further into the dark.
- Basically, you can offer 3 practical options when they encountered an unexpected error:
- Web visitors can go back to the last working page to help them trace where it went wrong.
- They can also go the main page of the website so they can start a new search and look for other things that may interest them.
- The 3rd is having an option to report the error. Give your web visitors a chance to explain the situation and report the bad link. This way, you are aware of the existing problems your customers are experiencing. You will know what parts need immediate attention, and you know what areas to focus on in terms of designing the overall atmosphere of your website.
- Aside from the options presented above, you can also provide these helpful tools to help them even more:
- Live chat feature.
- I know a lot of people find chat bots extremely annoying. However, in a specific instance where a customer is lost, chat bots or chat assistance is really helpful. Adding a live chat option can help guide customers to the right direction. You create automated messages and guide web visitors to links and resources. If the issue is not resolved, a customer service representative can answer their queries.
- Search box.
- Another technique is to provide a search box on the 404 page. Web visitors can start a new search or use similar keywords to their existing search. Maybe the 404 page appeared because of a small typo. This search box can help them find what they looking for.
- You can also use this opportunity to answer common questions regarding 404 and other related errors. This is your chance to explain the causes, alleviate their frustration, and offer solutions.
One last reminder — whatever design modification you choose to apply, make sure the options are applicable both on mobile and on desktop. Your 404 page don’t have to be harbinger of disappointment. Instead, offer solutions that are simple and easy to follow. In case you missed part 1, revisit and read the previously discussed tips.