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This article was published on May 6, 2015

    Ryanair’s app shows why ‘friendly’ error messages suck

    Ryanair’s app shows why ‘friendly’ error messages suck
    Mic Wright
    Story by

    Mic Wright

    Reporter, TNW

    Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

    Attempting to check-in for a Ryanair flight this morning reminded me why faux-friendly error messages in apps are terrible:

    The dominance of chirpy ‘oh dear’-style messages when something goes wrong with an app or service can probably be traced back to Google, which has popularized the quirky apology.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.36.39

    While there’s obviously an argument for making error messages human and understandable, as opposed to a incomprehensible code and some bloodless language, the over-familiar approach often ends up making users even more frustrated.

    In the case of the Ryanair example, how does that message help? It leaves you with more questions than answers.

    Share your examples of awful error messages in the comments… 

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