Recent experience with error messages

Although I am a developer, I am also a consumer and every now and then I have a negative experience with software on the client side of the fence.

The “fun” experience was with a local mobile carrier, where I was attempting to add a data pack onto one of the mobiles on my account as the data limit had reached zero.
I logged onto my account online, and followed the instructions to add the pack.

I was presented with a success message on the site – ok, that’s a good start.

Successful pack update?

But, then the mobile number got an error message saying it did not go through.


The issue with all of this, is that I have no idea why it failed.

I’ve tried to get in contact with the carrier, and have had no luck so far. So overall, not a great experience.

I’ve found some great posts on the analysis of error messages, so feel free to have a read.

How to write an error message – Medium
User experience tips best error messages – Freshsparks