Monday, April 25, 2011

Intercept puerile error messages (2)

In a previous post, I analyzed a puerile error message on the web site of a company that sells information services to people in corporate communications and public relations – presumably serious adults.

Here’s another example of a puerile error message. This one is on the web site of a company that advises investors on financial privacy – again, presumably serious adults. Why would serious adults want to read something like this?

You 404’d it. Gnarly, dude.

Surfin’ ain’t easy, and right now, you’re lost at sea. But don’t worry; simply pick an option from the list below, and you’ll be back out riding the waves of the Internet in no time.

• Hit the “back” button on your browser. It’s perfect for situations like this!

• Head on over to the home page.

• Punt.

A grown-up version

We’re sorry, but the page you requested does not exist on this server.

Please check the address you entered, or visit the home page of our web site.

If you need customer service, please dial [an 800 number].

The Takeaway:
The “Gnarly” error message would be appropriate on a web site dedicated to recreational activities for children. The person who wrote it has no empathy for a sober, adult audience. Check your companys web site for puerile copy. If you see any, find the employees who wrote it and put a literate adult in charge of editing what they write.

See disclaimer.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's the auto 404 if you use Wordpress. But, if I'm not mistaken, it can be customized. Not arguing your message; you're right. Just that it wasn't so much on purpose (being gnarly) as just not fixed.