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More specific/user-friendly error messages

Gabriel Torres

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Just a good example of what has just happened.

A topic was hidden. A user tried to access it, and got a "You don't have permission to do that" error message. The user immediately thought that there was something wrong with his account, and contacted us. It would save us a lot of back-and-forth with users and improve the user's experience if the message was "This topic was hidden".

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I don’t think there is a general solution to that. The error message does say what the problem is (if possible), but it might not say specifically what has caused the error, because that might not be known at that time or you might not want to reveal it in detail to the user. In the specific case of a hidden topic, you can just change the language string for the error message and add some explanations: “You don't have permission to do that. The content might have been hidden by a moderator or is not available (anymore) to your member group.” Or something like that …


That being said: I also received feedback that the error messages are looking “too technical” and therefore giving the impression something is broken. So I changed the error message template and made it look a bit more appealing. Compare:




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