A/B Testing Idea #314 - When displaying error messages, include relevant indicators

Tactic_When displaying error messages, include relevant indicators


When displaying error messages, make sure that you clearly explain the reason for the error. If your user is getting error messages without anything to tell them why it can't be validated and how to rectify the situation and move forward then it will become very frustrating and it is likely that they will quit the site without completing their action. Always ensure to give an explanation and, even better, a solution. For example, when they have to create a password, instead of simply saying that there is a mistake, tell them why and what to add or remove to create a valid password.

Inspired by Nick Kolenda 


  • Processing Efficacy (Jacoby & Dallas, 1981)
  • Need for Certainty/Uncertainty (Kagan, 1972)

The Research

Processing Efficacy

We tend to prefer things that are simple for us to understand or use.

Need for Certainty/Uncertainty

The paradox between the fact that our brain likes to know what is going on and to feel certain, and the fact that uncertainty is also a human need and can lead to action and creativity.

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