Cool 404 Error Pages From Around The Web

I think it’s pretty easy to agree that in web design, one of the most dull pages to create is a 404 error page. We’ve collated some of the better ideas, to give you inspiration for your own 404 error pages. Enjoy!

Some of the coolest 404 error pages you’ll see

A HTTP 404 error message can be frustration personified, as it means that the web page you have been looking for has not been found. Some innovative companies have been adding a little fun to what is inevitably an annoying experience, however, by creating custom 404 error pages for your amusement. Usually, if a custom 404 error page is larger than 512 bytes, it will display without problem on any browser. Why not check out some of the creative 404 pages on the list below?

Quirky characters delivering you a message in style

Companies such as Bt3, Propeller and Cuoma add quirky cartoon characters to their 404 error pages. Disruptive to user experience as this error message is, at least these 404 pages deliver that annoying information with a personal touch. It shows that they are thinking about their site visitors at every turn. The scheduling and social planning website Centerd, on the other hand, personifies its remorse in the form of a cute kitten saying ‘Sorry, I may have shredded the power card. Oh, and your favourite shoes’.

Getting interactive

Studies have shown that web users’ frustration with site’s error page will diminish if they themselves are empowered to take action to rectify the situation. The online synchronisation service Soocial. Soocial is one of many companies that enables users to interact with their 404 error pages, providing a report on what has gone wrong and what they would like to be done to rectify it. In addition, the photograph accompanying Soocial’s 404 error page is somewhat striking. Other companies invite users to interact with their error page in different ways. For instance, OrangeCoat Web Design presents viewers with a flow chart that invites them to consider how the company might best help them. This is an imaginative use of the error page, as it takes the opportunity to do some additional marketing as well as providing the customer with relevant information. What more could we expect from an expert web design company?

Staying iconic

The Pennsylvania based multinational fashion retailer Urban Outfitters changes its 404 error message with relative frequency. At one moment, it simply presented users with the iconic word ‘BUMMER’ all in capital letters. This acknowledgement of the way in which the user was feeling was sure to raise a smile, though the message did not descend into the expletive laden error page displayed by Rush 68.

What do successful 404 error pages have in common?

Though they are often very different in their approaches, these cool 404 error pages help to decrease exit rates (i.e. the rates at which web users leave a company’s website on a given page) by acknowledging the customer’s inevitable frustration at not finding the web content that they require. Simultaneously, these error messages also add an element of humour and a personal touch to the error page, so that the customer feels that their time is not wasted.

Seb runs the W3 Cafe blog as well as his web design and digital marketing agency, Imaginaire Digital.

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