Best Practices to Design 404 Error Page

Pooja Pawar
Oct 15, 2017 · 3 min read

404 error no one likes it, right? There are times when 404 page frustrates you but there are also time when it delights you. Let’s find a way to delight user with better 404 error page.

What is 404 Error Web Page ?

404 is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) standard response code. If the server could not find what user has requested then 404 comes in a place. The Server typically generates 404 error web page when a user attempts to follow the dead or broken link.

Source : Airbnb

Best Practices 404 Error Page Design

This article will help you to design better 404 error page. Follow guidelines for better usability, stronger branding, and delightful user experiences.

Say No to Default

When a user lands on default error page which looks completely different from rest of the site. They might think if they have landed on some other website. Customizing error page is the first step towards enhancing user experience.

Source : GitHub

Explain What’s Wrong

Frustrating error messages lead to bad user experience. Explaining what’s wrong might help a user to solve the issue and get back to the flow. Simple is always good. Don’t make things difficult by just putting lots of unnecessary text. Simple and short message helps user to understand what went wrong and what to do next.

Source : Starbucks

Use 404 Error Page as Branding Opportunity

Branding on 404 error page helps user to know that they are still on your website. This means you need to include branding elements like logo, navigation and more. Following is the best example for this.

Source : MailChimp

Provide Some Direction

When a user lands on an error page, they might feel clueless. They don’t usually understand what to do next. Giving search bar and site navigation would help user to find what they are looking for.

Source : Apple


Friendly 404 error page designs helps to ensure that they are happy to come on your site rather than forcing them to find a reason to get out. Nowadays, user experience designers are seeing 404 error pages is a way to keep them engaged, introducing their brand and solve problems.

Pooja Pawar

Written by

Executive UX Designer. Follow link to check my work on :

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade