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Best practices to design an interesting and engaging 404 error page

By October 14, 2018May 27th, 2024No Comments

Best practices to design an interesting and engaging 404 error page

A 404-page error is undoubtedly the most frustrating thing on the internet. It implies that what you looking for on a website doesn’t exist. It’s like hitting the dead end with no light in sight. For general visitors, it may be a little annoying but for a potential customer, it can cause a lost sales opportunity. The chances of minimizing the times a visitor encounters a 404 page are very less but what you display on that page can be used to help your leads taking some proper action rather than jumping off to your competitors.

Why designing a 404 page is important?

There are a few reasons why someone encounters a 404 error page. Research says that typos, old links in emails and bookmarks are the sources of 45.87% occurrence of 404 pages. Broken links are less favourable to cause only 17.58% of 404 error pages. That means the majority of 404 pages generated on your site are out of your control. No matter what is the reason for a 404 page, many businesses have taken the initiative to create a visually attractive 404 pages to engage users. This is essential because only 23% of visitors make a second attempt to find out what is missing on the website however 70% of visitor leave that webpage to never return.

So here are some creative ways to customize your 404 error page for better user engagement, let’s have a look:

Incorporate Humor:

Encountering a 404 page is no user’s dream. Usually, a user is confused and annoyed having to face this error page so why not make the situation pleasant with some uncharacteristic humour. Humour can do wonders by handling the seemingly difficult situations. Basically, it’s the job of a web design company how it’ll use cool graphics to infuse the humour within.

Keep it simple:

Simplicity is supreme. It is always attractive and effective. In the above example, as you can see there is just a simple message for users with a CTA button and there is no unnecessary info on the page to confuse users.

Use emotion:

It is not too hard to draw a 404 page that draws on the emotion of a user. Since the page searched by the user seems to be missing and lost, one should choose the graphics that appear to be sorry or sad to the users. At the same time, selection of words is also important as what you say is equally important as what you show.


People like stories and it is even more likable when interspersed with illustrations. So why not use them to engage your users on a 404 error page. Carefully think through this strategy and then came up with a story that also incorporates your culture and ideology.

Don’t overdo the things:

Sometimes overdoing of things can also lend you in big troubles. Hence it is always better to keep things simple by following the current trends. Choose your characters wisely that shows there is nothing wrong here with reaching this page and not finding the information you are looking for.

Give users options:

It is always smart to present your users with options they want to explore. Options like “go back to Homepage”, “the service page” and “social media channels” are always beneficial to guide users in a proper direction. Give users all the possible options on a 404 page that make him think for a while instead of just heading back.

Since every page of your website matters even those that never exist. Yes, they matter. So follow these strategies and make an interesting and engaging 404 error page for the users to stay hooked.

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