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.

One Comment

  1. That (unnamed) bank still has that same error message when you try to transfer more than the daily limit. The online chat person recognised it immediately and told me that the daily limit is £19,999 and I need to call customer services to transfer more than that. Then I was asked to rate my online chat experience. There unfortunately wasn’t an option labelled “Efficient, but shouldn’t have been necessary”

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *