Error Messages MindMap

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It’s MindMap Monday!  And we’re back!

This one is on error messages, those things that provide us so much pleasure and frustration!  We did a bit of research and came up with some points that perhaps you should think about next time that error message appears…or not!

As always, please feel free to leave some feedback.  Let us know if there are any errors in this MindMap!  Or simply just something else to add.

Below the image of the MindMap is a link to the download files, plus a list for hopefully easy reference.

Credits to:

(If you would like to contribute a MindMap then let us know!)



Error Messages


Download ZIP File –  (img, PDF, text, xml, Opml, Freemind)

Error Messages


  • Error detection
  • Are errors detected?
  • Are errors not detected?
  • Is the error correct?
  • Error reporting
  • (See) UX
  • Do buttons work?
  • Security vulnerabilities


  • Accessible by…Users + Product team
  • Are they usable?
  • Quantity: Too much or Too little


  • Does the software recover?
  • On its own?
  • Guidance to the user?


Positive user experience

  • Can it be simplified?
  • Timely
  • Is it efficient?
  • Does a user waste time/effort?
  • Is it prompt?


  • Does the user know it failed?
  • Does the user know how to recover?
  • Is the user’s entry saved or lost?


  • Frustration
  • Confusion
  • Happiness


  • Appropriate types of messages
  • Is it too technical?
  • Is it accessible?
  • Consistent error reporting?
  • Consistent look and feel
  • With software
  • With OS guidelines


  • Accurate text?
  • Too much info?
  • Too little info?
  • Security vulnerability?
  • Localisation
  • How to contact support?


  • Quantity/amount of errors
  • Are there excessive errors?
  • Pre-error warnings?
  • Why did it happen?
  • What happened?
  • Is it helpful?
  • Impact communicated clearly
  • Is it accurate / right?
  • What happens next?

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