When a web page is down, a customer’s response ranges from “I’ll be back later” to the highest level of cyber road rage. Site functionality and reliability are givens for many customers. Just as the user (myself included) has become spoiled by high speed technology with its instantaneous response time, the ever presence of a
company’s website is simply assumed.

But things happen. Every site goes down at some point: no matter how quickly it is back up and running. The reality is our users will at some time click onto a page that is under construction.

The many reasons for a site going down may be out of your hands in the moments of the event. However, your company’s website error message can influence the mood of your customer when clever humor delivers an unpleasant inconvenience. Hubspot blog recently highlighted 10 creative examples of companies implementing humorous error messages in the past when their sites were down.

My favorite was this error message suggesting the little monsters running a muck, swallowing servers whole and having a great time making a disaster. The creative examples Hubspot referenced made me laugh to myself, causing me to wonder what error page I would design for IVR Technology Group.

Muscular cartoon men lined up along the bottom of the screen, straining to hold up the error message page like a garage door and a small portion of the typical home page barely showing as the men struggled to keep the site “up” and the error message page from coming “down”.

Another error page I thought would be funny would be a cartoon man sitting in an arm chair with piles of shopping bags around him. Directly next to him would be a dressing room with clothes flying out of the top. A bubble above the man’s head would simply say, “Pull up a chair and wait with me.”

Giving some thought to designing a creative and humorous error message page could make all the difference to the customer. Turning an annoyed response into a chuckle, even eye rolling reaction serves to lighten the mood on an inconvenient situation that will soon be on the mend.

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