Get Your Error Messages Right

Dear Blue Cross Web Developers (and anyone else of the same ilk),

It's really, really frustrating for your users when you display an error message to the user telling them they have done something wrong (in this case, tried to log in during "off" hours), when they haven't.

It's bad usability, and even worse customer support to say, "well, I have this error message that's approved. I will just use it all the time."

When Gmail was first launched, they had a similar problem -- if you sent something with an attachment over an unspecified limit, they would send an error back telling you the person's box was full... even if the email box was completely empty.

Frustrating your users with the wrong error message is actually WORSE than telling them, "database connection error" or whatever technical code error you are hiding. It blames them incorrectly for something that is not their fault!

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