Quality busters, Make your error messages meaningful
Develop messages that make sense to both users and programmers
From the developerWorks archives
Date archived: May 15, 2019 | First published: October 20, 2004
Many applications treat users as if they were programmers. Messages that report errors are often cryptic, contain meaningless codes, and provide no help regarding what to do next. While the developers who wrote the application can use those messages, most users are left with one option: call the help desk. This article describes a more appropriate kind of error message for users: one that includes description, cause, and recovery steps.
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