Sunday, 15 April 2012

Crazy Egg: Great 404 Page

In essence, you can define the web as a set of links. When surfing the web, every know and then you come across a page which is not correctly linked or doesn't exist at all. In that case, you'll get to see a 404-error page.

A 404 page is the equivalent of ordering a tuna salad in a restaurant and you get to hear from the waiter that their out of tuna. At best, the waiter will apologise and give other options, perhaps telling what other people might have liked. At worst, the waiter will say: 'We don't have Tuna', and walk away.

This is a bad way to design a 404 page: it says 'No Tuna today' and leaves it at that.

A 404 page is an opportunity to turn a bad experience (the page that doesn't exist) and make it into a positive experience: don't let the visitor just go away. The visitor might have cost you money, so you need to take care of him.

In this great article, Crazy Egg, which sells a Usability Tool, gives some good advise on how to design a great 404-page. Have a look at it if you want to see some good advise.

What is even greater is that they have a really cook 404-page themselves: it's from their blog, The Daily Egg. They don't only write about good 404 pages, they also deliver on what they recommend, which is a great way to gain trust.

Here it is:

Click image to see in full size

It does various things very good:  

Taking the customer/visitor serious: comparing to the above example of the standard, you can tell there has been put some time, thought and design into this page. That creates confidence.

Humour: a smart way to say 'Sorry, the page you try to find doesn't exist' is using humour. Since the blog is called 'The Daily Egg', the humour of telling that the Egg was mislaid uses a nice quirk to explain what is basically a tecnical error.

Search-box: including a tool in which you can search the site is like the waiter who has to tell they ran out of tuna, who gives you back the menu so you can have a second look to see what elso you might like.

Recomended links: apart from the search box, telling what other people might have liked gives new options to your visitor.

Call-to-action: a very smart move of Crazy Egg is to use the 404 page to include a button for a free tial of their product. 

On their coporate site, Crazy Egg uses a different 404 page, which is maybe not as funny, but still pretty good:

Click image to see in full size

Would you change this 404-page or is it good enough?

No comments:

Post a Comment