Notices and info dialog modals Rants UX error messages

Doing it all wrong – Errors and info dialog modals

Hey Designers,

Let’s talk about handling errors effectively for our users.


Have you ever noticed how the system surprises us with a dialog box when we make a mistake? It’s like, “Ta-da!” Here’s a fancy message to decode, along with two vague buttons to choose from. This usually happens unexpectedly and disrupts our workflow, which can be frustrating. The dialog box covers the screen, making it hard to remember what we were doing before the error occurred. The background dimming effect just adds to the annoyance. After struggling to read the message, we end up hitting the ‘back’ button out of sheer frustration.


Here’s a simple solution: Instead of a complex message, provide a clear arrow pointing to where the user made the mistake. Use one or two buttons with straightforward labels for fixing the issue. For example, if the user exceeds a limit, like entering “30” when the limit is 25: Instead of saying “Limit exceeded, try again,” say “Must be more than 0 and less than 25.”

Clear labels on simple buttons and highlighting the error location on the page will provide context without covering up the work area. Once you give the user the solution, you can add creative elements like rainbows and unicorns for visual appeal, but keep the focus on providing a clear answer.

If there are more than two choices, it’s time to review the UX/UI flow of that feature. Good design can prevent most errors. And if it all feels overwhelming, take a break and relax. Sometimes, a break and a deep breath are the best solutions!