Ingredients of a Helpful Error Message

As they say, shit happens.

Even in software.

And when things go haywire, we want to communicate with the users in a helpful manner. Ideally, an error message:

  • Informs the user a bit about what went wrong (if known)
  • Instructs the user how he might fix the problem on his own (if possible)
  • Suggests what the user should do if further assistance is required

Thoughts?

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