Phoenix Web Design – Tips on Designing Your Website’s 404 Page (Part 2)

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.

How to transform 404 pages into helpful pages?

How to transform 404 pages into helpful pages?

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.
      • FAQ.
      • 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.

Phoenix Web Design – Tips on Designing Your Website’s 404 Page (Part 1)

If you don’t know, a 404 page appears when someone clicks a broken link. It’s a standard response to a non-existent page. However, not a lot customize the error message on the 404 page. Typically, it will just display a message that the link you clicked is “NOT FOUND.” Depending on your preference, you can choose to apply unique message prompts. Web designers tend to deviate from the traditional approach.

In this post, I will give you tips on how to creatively present your 404 page, and how to help web visitors navigate into a page that’s 100% working. Read the helpful tips below:

  • Tone it down!
  • Your web visitors are already frustrated that they got an error upon clicking a link. This your opportunity to pacify the situation, and remind them that the people behind the scenes are working on it.
  • It wouldn’t help if you will just give them a generic prompt, making the page impersonal and cold. This will just make your web visitors more frustrated and leave the your website.
    • How to lighten the mood?
    • Be like a friendly customer service representative.
    • You can customize your 404 page using a friendly tone. Design it with an inviting and warm atmosphere. Remind them that you are still fixing it. Say something like, “Hello there, are terribly sorry about that. You are seeing this because the link you clicked may be incorrect or outdated.”
    • Share a joke.
    • Your web visitors already feel bad because they see an error. Lighten up the situation by cracking a joke. Insert puns to ease the inconvenience. For example, “Ooops! The link is broken. Now, our hearts are too. Let us find you a match ASAP!” Then, below the message, you can provide more options for them to clicks.
  • Broken links... and other broken things! </3

    Broken links… and other broken things! </3

    • Be sassy.
    • You don’t have to be always following a certain path. Grab the attention of your web visitors by showing an image of literally a broken page like Blizzard’s 404 page. Yes, it may shock them, but it offers a cheeky and unexpected response.
    • Add interactive games.
    • When you visit Kualo and you can’t seem to go to a link provided, it will say that the invaders took over the page. A game similar to Space Invaders will then appear. Guess what? It’s an actually game. The bearer of bad news becomes a highly addictive game. Now, that’s a creative way of turning an error message to a fun and interactive page!
    • On the plus side, if you score over 1000 points, you will get a web hosting discount. This proves that 404 pages need NOT to be a source of disappoint. It can also be a bearer of good news!
    • Deep web.
    • Yes, your 404 page can be friendly, sassy, and funny. However, this is also a chance to be informative! You can suggest other helpful links on your website. Offer them articles that will teach them new things.
    • The National Public Radio’s 404 page offers a list of people and things that also mysteriously disappeared. One popular example is the American aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart. It will surely make you forget about the broken link. Instead, you will ponder about the intriguing story you just read.
  • That’s it for now! If you want more 404 design tips, part 2 is posted here!
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