Hall of shame: error message written in technical gobbledegook

Screenshot of error message that reads 'Sorry, there were some errors. Please correct the following errors: moveMoney.paymentValueAboveUpperLimit

The inaugural entry into the content hall of shame is this doozy of an error message from a UK bank. (I’m deliberately trying to avoid naming-and-shaming companies. This is more about documenting examples as something to learn from; not to say someone’s doing a bad job.)

On trying to transfer some money from one account to another, this error message popped up:

Sorry, there were some errors.
Please correct the following errors:
* moveMoney.paymentValueAboveUpperLimit

To be fair, it doesn’t take a huge amount of parsing to realise that I’m asking to transfer too much money. On the other hand, there’s nothing to tell me what that limit is – it really shouldn’t be a secret – or even a help page to give me more information about this. This stood out because there’s clearly been a lot of good work done on the copy on the rest of the site but somehow this error message hasn’t gone through the process.

Lesson learned

Error messaging is user-facing content: it should go through the same content quality process and rigour as any other UX content.

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