Monday, August 27, 2007

Why a good error message is important

I was trying to change my private email in one of the forums I'm subscripted. The thing is that after clicking the save button it said:

"Sorry, an Error has Occurred"

"Unfortunately an error has occurred during the processing of your page request. If you were attempting to submit a new post, your post may not have been recorded. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience."

And some links to go back, help, etc. No helpful at all. I searched through the forum posts to find out if someone had has the same issue and I found that the private email address couldn't be duplicated. In that moment I remembered I had another user with that address so I could take the steps to be able to change it in a few seconds. If the error message had been something like "The email address is being used by another user. Please choose a different mail and try again" it would be a significant save of time.

The cause of the error is probably due to they are not validating the email address, so after receiving the generic sql error they show the generic (not useful at all) "Sorry, and Error has Occurred". 

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