How I’d Improve Google Error Messages

What’s wrong with this error message from Google? 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, e.g. 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?

Download these templates to start

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan