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Sep 10, 21  |  Irfan Raza

Tips on Handling Common Mobile App Error Messages

Mistakes occur. Sometimes it's the fault of the users, and other times it's a flaw in your app. In either case, a friction point in your app prevents users from progressing and converting.

Although all apps strive to avoid these situations, those that recover with humility and grace reduce the number of users who leave due to an error. The point is that, regardless of who is to blame, how you handle the incident in your app can influence your users' decision to forgive or forget.

Here are four suggestions to improve common mobile app error messages in your app to improve the user experience:

Prevention is Better Than Cure

While all apps optimize their user interface to minimize errors, there are ways to prevent common mobile app error messages from occurring in the first place.

Assume you require all new users to create a profile when they download your app. Instead of informing them after they type a password that it must contain a certain number of characters and numbers, inform them before they create one. That way, they can follow the rules from the start and avoid being frustrated because their password did not work.

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Don’t Blame the User

The user is unconcerned (and frequently unaware) of the technical issues that resulted in the error. They're just hoping for a simple solution.

One of the main concerns of common mobile app error messages is that the users become confused and frustrated when cryptic messages or fancy vocabulary are thrown at them. If you absolutely must include an error message, direct the user to a troubleshooting page where you can provide a more technical explanation of what went wrong.

This technical jargon is meaningless to users. It also doesn't help them solve the problem.

Instead, distill what went wrong and what can be done to correct it. Even if the user is unable to resolve the issue immediately, they will feel better knowing what caused the error.

Instead of politely instructing the user on how to resolve the issue, this messaging accuses them. In this version, the user is informed of how to correct the problem without being blamed.