I’ve mentioned “error pages” before, but I’ll revisit the subject regularly until everyone’s sorted theirs out. Do you know what happens if someone types in a page on your site which doesn’t exist? Here’s what happens on our site. Is your “error page” as user-friendly? Try typing a load of nonsense after your domain name and see what happens.
Even if you think what you’re providing is OK, it may still be worth reading 404 error pages, news sites and user experience on the E-consultancy blog, where they investigate what happens on some of the big news sites (such as the BBC or FT) to see if there’s anything we can learn. One thing to remember when designing your error page (also known as the “404 page”) is that visitors might have followed a broken link from another site, and therefore it’s not their fault they’re seeing your error page – so don’t imply they’re idiots who can’t type.