Even if users decide to change the value, the default value lets users know the expected input format. Is the problem not related to the current user activity, does it not require immediate user action, and can users freely ignore it? Downloads and tools Windows 10 dev tools Visual Studio Windows SDK Windows Store badges Essentials API reference (Windows apps) API reference (desktop apps) Code samples How-to guides (Windows apps) Learning resources Make sure the error message gives a problem, cause, and solution. this contact form
Refer to as an error message only in programming and other technical documentation. This documentation is archived and is not being maintained. Instead, focus on writing helpful error messages so that users can solve problems without contacting technical support. This is often done to make the presentation feel less severe. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa387678(v=vs.85).aspx
Do you really need to interrupt users so that they can click the Close button? Titles Use the title to identify the command or feature from which the error originated. Incorrect: In this example, the entire error message is put in the main instruction, making it hard to read. C++ Copy #include
Scroll the control into view if necessary. The system returned: (22) Invalid argument The remote host or network may be down. If you do this, also use the feature name as the error's subject. Error Message -1 Itunes In this example, the feature icon has an error overlay, and the feature is the subject of the error.
Silly error messages Incorrect: In this example, the problem statement is quite ironic and no solutions are provided. Incorrect: In this example, an unconstrained text box is used for constrained input. The main instruction text and icons should always match. Incorrect: Well, which is it?
If a problem has several causes, the program should determine the specific cause whenever possible. Error 404 The message is as short as possible, but no shorter. Otherwise, provide a Close button. Don't recommend contacting an administrator unless doing so is among the most likely solutions to the problem.
Also, avoid troubleshooters. my response Your cache administrator is webmaster. Windows Error Codes We appreciate your feedback. Windows Error Message Generator Now the user is stuck and either has to deduce the problem or get technical support.
Default values Select the safest, least destructive, or most secure response to be the default. User input problems The user entered a value that is incorrect or inconsistent with other user input. Incorrect: Click OK to restart Windows. Pare the main instruction down to the essential information. Microsoft Error 268d3
When possible, format the text using bold. Blue Screen Of Death Leading cause: Most likely, the program has poor error handling. Avoid starting sentences with object names.
Now the user has to troubleshoot. With each message comes a detailed explanation and a suggested user action. Doing so is jarring and unnecessary. However, this is also their primary drawback if that attention isn't necessary.
Provide only what users need to know. Sound Don't accompany error messages with a sound effect or beep. Consider disabled controls. Error and Event Messages Help This Help file contains most of the error and event messages generated by Windows 2000.
Leading cause: Reporting all error cases, regardless of users' goals or point of view. Aim for a maximum of three sentences of moderate length. Can the problem be corrected automatically? If the main instruction is long or detailed, summarize it.
Don't rely on a single error message to report a problem with several different detectable causes. If the search has obvious mistakes, automatically recommend a corrected query. Use modal error handling (task dialogs or message boxes) for all other problems, including errors that involve multiple controls or are non-contextual or non-input errors found by clicking a commit button. Making things just work.
System Error Codes Note The information on this page is intended to be used by programmers so that the software they write can better deal with errors. List steps the user can take to fix the problem. Designing for good error handling While crafting good error message text can be challenging, sometimes it is impossible without good error handling support from the program. Incorrect: In this example, the error message incorrectly recommends contacting technical support.
Recommended alternative: Write error message text that your target users can easily understand. Exception: Use OK if your error reporting mechanism has fixed labels (as with the MessageBox API.) Documentation When referring to errors: Refer to errors by their main instruction. However, in-place error messages should use a small error icon (16x16 pixel) to clearly identify them as error messages. If the problem has parameters, the parameters must be maintained.
In this example, the program can't find a camera to perform a user task. If users are likely to dismiss the message without doing or changing anything, omit the error message. The System Error Codes are very broad. Design concepts The characteristics of poor error messages It should be no surprise that there are many annoying, unhelpful, and poorly written error messages.