Why Good Looking Error Messages Matter

June 11, 2008

baggage_error.jpg

Almost anything involving computers falls over once in a while, but it’s how you handle it that makes all the difference.

I spotted this in Newcastle airport the other day. I see a crappy broken Windows system almost every time I travel. I imagine travellers going through Heathrow’s Terminal 5 saw quite a few too.

Now, not only could someone have done a better job of handling the error on the application coding side, it’s also such shitty branding for Microsoft. Every time I see one of these I think: “Microsoft products can’t run enterprise systems without falling over - I wouldn’t let them near any project of mine.”

Given the massive wads of cash companies spend on those inane glossy business-management-enterprise-big-dick-corporation ads you always see in airports, this would seem to unravel the band promise it all pretty quickly. With all the new tech, it’s only going to get worse.

(Sorry about the crappy picture – I wasn’t too sure about taking photos in the airport. You know, just in case I got shot by the British Police or something).