Sometimes things go wrong. It happens. Whether by an error on your part when typing, or an error on the web developer’s part when creating links/redirects, you are occasionally met with a “404” error page to identify that the page you’re looking for cannot be found. It can be frustrating. But these companies have found creative ways to make the experience a little less bothersome, and in some cases actually helpful.
As we’ve said, not finding the page you’re looking for can be a little irksome at times. These companies opt for humorous and interactive 404 pages to alleviate the tension, and get you back on track.
Magnt’s 404 page displays a simple Venn diagram explaining what might’ve gone wrong. Putting their hands up, they accept joint responsibility for the issue, whilst pointing a knowing finger at the user. A helpful link guides the user back to their homepage to continue looking for the page.
The 404 page for Limpfish is a simple affair, but a humorous one nonetheless. A “wanted” ad advertises a website looking for its long lost webpage. With the 404 error code hidden in the contact details for this fictional ad, it’s bound to raise a smirk from anyone accidentally landing here.
Hot Dot’s 404 page has some beautiful interactivity built in to it, allowing you to release your inner turmoil at finding a non-existent page. A very fitting collection of “hot dots” make up the 404 error code number. When clicked, the dots interact with the users mouse in an explosion of sorts, dispersing away from the mouse click before re-appearing.
Another humorous 404 page, this time from Blizzard Entertainment. If you try to visit a page that does not exist on their website, cracks appear in the screen, the menu is knocked down, and the tongue-in-cheek message “Grats. You broke it.” Is displayed. The menu crashing down is a brilliantly creative idea, and accurately portrays the message it is trying to put across; this page is broken, please move on. They get extra bonus points too for the menu still being fully functional, allowing the user to carry on their journey through the site.
Let’s take a step away from the humorous, and towards the simply beautiful. Some websites, including Audiko, opt for beautiful illustrations to frequent their 404 pages. Not only does the eye-catching graphic offer plenty to look at to distract from the missing page, there’s a helpful little search bar to get you back on track.
Presenting another wonderfully interactive 404 page, emailcenter take full responsibility for the error and offer you the choice of which developer deserves the sack. It’s a good bit of fun, with your choice presenting a picture of the other three celebrating, whilst the chosen developer holds his head. You also get given a little fact about the developer you have chosen to send down the road of unemployment. Yes, you should feel bad.
Here’s one of our favourites. Blue Fountain Media distract their users from 404 errors by presenting a custom made game of Pacman. We admit that we did get a little distracted by this page whilst researching for this blog, but who doesn’t love a good game of Pacman? It’s not all fun and games though, as Blue Fountain Media have included a helpful menu towards the bottom of the page, guiding you towards the pages that DO work. If you can pull yourself away from the 404 page, that is…
How can a good 404 page help?
If a user clicks a broken link, or types in a URL incorrectly and lands on a broken page, they’re likely to leave the site straight away. The less people that interact with your site, the harder it is to gain a good SEO ranking. Your 404 page should always include a way for users to visit or search the rest of your website to find what they were looking for.