How I’d Improve Google Plus Error Messages

What’s wrong with this error message from Google Plus? I got this today when I tried to + a blog post. Let’s look at this error message and see how we can improve it.

Google Plus One Error Message

Google Plus One Error Message

Google Plus Error Messages – What’s Wrong

I know what Google is trying to tell me with this error message but others may not.

The text says:

Oops you need a Google Profile to use this feature

And

Google Profiles is not available for your organization

Google Plus Error Messages – How to Improve

The text could read:

Oops you need a Google Profile to use this feature

with a link to the sign up page. I think that’s required to use it.

And for

Google Profiles is not available for your organization

Explain why it is not available. I think it’s simply because they have not signed up yet.

Error Messages – How to write

When writing error messages – not a great name, by the way as the user didn’t really make an error – try to cover three things.

  • Identify why the issue arose, eg you’re not signed in
  • Describe what to do next, eg go here to sign up
  • Provide additional (and useful) information, eg our FAQ section is here

Remember, most errors aren’t made by the user, so take the blame off them and explain how to fix things.

What else would you add?