If Southeastern Rail’s error messages were like this then maybe I wouldn’t want them to die a slow and painful death

3 12 2008

Error messages: not everyone’s favourite thing, but important, in as much that what a service does when something goes wrong often says as much about it as when things go right. A bad example would be Southeastern Trains’ ageing-debutant-on-valium style platform announcements (“I am sorry for the delay to your service” etc, delivered with all the empathy that a disembodied, pre-recorded computer generated voice can muster), good examples being Mixx:

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and Flickr’s downtime colouring in game:

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A list of the best (and worst) web 2.0 error messages can be found in Royal Pingdom’s post 24 fun and inspiring web 2.0 error pages, unsurprisngly Google and Microsoft don’t fare particularly well.