RIP Fail Whale: Twitter’s iconic error image bites the dust http://t.co/sPyDlW3UbZ
— Shane Larrabee (@shanelarrabee) November 26, 2013
There is nothing more frustrating for your site visitors than encountering an error. Many years ago we used to just let these happen, a giant unfriendly error message sometimes full of technical jargon that meant nothing to our site visitors. Short of manually and proactively going through error logs we often relied on site users to report errors before we were aware of them. Today, we typically use much more friendly error messages or simply hide the error and present the user with a nice message.
To pretend errors don’t happen is naive, to assume that users will report such incidences is hopeful. Though many us of remember getting frustrated and joking about how often the Fail Wale made an appearance, the one thing it always communicated was that the issue had been recognized and is being worked on. This was enough to keep us coming back.
On the sites you manage or build, be sure you utilize friendly error messages that not only convey an appropriate message to your site user but also notify you or your support team of the incidence so that it can be resolved.