A 404 page is an error page that a user sees when they try to navigate to a page that does not exist on your site. Maybe they’ve clicked a broken link or perhaps the page has been deleted, but no matter the reason, dead-end pages could be a major source of frustration.
Me? I love 404 pages! In fact I consider myself a collector. In the past 3-5 years developers and designers alike have found fun ways of apologizing and notifying a user that they aren’t going to get what they initially hoped to find. Most 404 pages that I have encountered tend not to follow the design layout or conventions of the rest of the pages on the site.
While I love these quirky little pages, I try not to seek them out. Half the fun of discovery is the joy of accidentally stumbling upon an error and allowing the distinctive design, unique tone, and joviality mitigate your annoyance.
Here are some of my favorites…
When you are designing a website, don’t forget this oft overlooked message. Use this error page as another opportunity to connect with your users in a human way. You can be rude, funny, self-depracating, or insanely professional, but whatever you do, make sure that you maintain your own voice.