The Art of the Error Message

How to write clear, helpful copy for when things go wrong

Error messages should point toward a solution, not act as a Band-Aid. Image: denkcreative/Getty

By Marina Posniak & Tamara Hilmes

he concept of embracing failure is big in the tech industry. “Fail fast, fail often” is almost an industry mantra. But there’s an everyday type of failure that doesn’t get much attention in the product development process: the humble error message.