We’ve all been there. That annoying landing page that lets you knows you messed up and typed in the wrong URL. Even though it may only take a few seconds to rectify your error, you can’t help that feeling of rejection, dread and being left out in the cold.
Like being turned down by your office crush or getting no response from a job application. Maybe I’m exaggerating here a touch, but I’m sure you catch my drift.
Thinking differently: So what can be done about it? More and more companies are coming up with fresh ideas to make their site visitors feel good when they land on their 404 page, and so they should. The way you make your potential customers feel is bound to make or break a sale – you could have the best product on the market, but lose out to an inferior competitor, just because they’ve got a smart website.
Humour is the best remedy to most problems, and this is being applied to the 404 page. Videos featuring bikers suffering a painful looking crash, or a man tripping over in the street have been used amongst other things. An amusing photo with a snappy catchphrase can be equally effective, just anything that’s not bland and generic.
Put to good use: Recently, a schoolgirl went missing but her parents put out an appeal which included using her image on several companies’ 404 landing pages. The page featured the opening line ‘Page not found, neither is Ella Hysom’, alongside her image were details of where she was from and who to contact should she be seen. The story attracted a lot of media attention, and she was found safe and well.
Now that more and more businesses are looking at ways to turn a negative into a positive, it will be interesting to see how quickly the phenomenon catches on and where it goes next.