The approach of a 404 page
Having a hiccup on a website is sometimes inevitable. And the 404 error page display often disrupt the emotional state of users.
While I was hiking in Arizona two weeks ago, some trails were not paved. You have to pay attention to your steps and follow other people. Otherwise, you may not stay on the correct route. There was a time that I went astray and not remain on the designated path. The feeling was like getting a 404 page when I found out this is not the right track. However, there are some bonuses you got from it. For example, the scenery is a lot better than the designed trail, and you might discover something interesting. And these bonuses balanced my negative feeling of doing something wrong.
I wonder if I can use this experience as an inspiration when designing a 404 page. Adding something fun, something like an achievement, even though you do not get the result you want originally.
I took this thought a designed a 404 page that has a hiking theme. Tell people that they just discovered something great, and they should feel good and celebrate it.
Other than a still screen, there could also some cool animation incorporated or even a small game that user can play with, such as poking the flag on the mountaintop they like.
What do you think? Let me know if you have any other ideas that make the 404 page experience better!