great error msgs (part 2 : wordpress)

Wordpress Error

Previously I wrote about how taking a little time to write a good error message can turn what is potentially a catastrophic user experience into one that actually endears you to your customers.

Here’s another great example from WordPress that turned a potentially frustrating experience (not being able to reach someone’s blog when I wanted to), into an experience that confirmed my experience of the WordPress brand, *and* made me smile.

Even though they’re personifying the server here, the voice of the clever and friendly and humorous people who make up WordPress comes through loud and clear.

As the Cluetrain guys say (which you should all know from heart by now):

These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.

Unless you saw this error message too many times (and nothing can turn chronically poor performance into a good user experience), you’d be hard pressed to come away from this experience thinking poorer of WordPress.

You may even be so impressed you have to write a blog post about it :)

Nice work WordPress people.

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the turning, tim winton

The Turning, Tim WintonI’m a Tim Winton fan. Have been for ages.

CloudStreet is one of my most favourite books ever. I love the way this man writes.

But, I’ve been putting off reading The Turning because its a book of short stories and I always tell myself that I find short stories unsatisfying.

This is actually untrue, but I manage to convince myself of this fact regularly. I’m a short story snob.

If you are too and you’re avoiding this book for that reason – give it up for the turning now. It’s amazing and you must read it.

Now, it’s not as amazing as CloudStreet, but the intertwining of characters between each story, picking up the same story from various aspects in time or space or character perspective makes the book a really rich experience. I found myself thinking back on stories I’d read earlier, now with a new piece of information found in the story I’m currently reading… rethinking occurs regularly. Its part of the experience. I really liked that.

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hngry? Not *that* hungry.

hngry logo

Here’s a product that’s just been released and has managed to generate a little noise in the blogosphere.

Here’s the low down:

… get all of the menus from your favorite restaurants, sit down in front of your pc, open hngry and put in all the important info for each restaurant.

… When you’re hungry and can’t decide where to eat, just log in to hngry and click on “Where to eat?” hngry will ask you for the amount you’d like to spend, and the type of food you’d like to eat. When you’ve picked, click “I’m hngry”, and hngry will tell you where to eat, based on that information. … If you’d like, you can just print off the whole page and take it with you when you go!

And that’s it.

Here’s another idea. When you get junk mail or get take away food, grab the menu and put it with a group of others in a place you’ll remember. I use a very high tech bulldog clip and the botton drawer in my kitchen. My friend Penny uses a more high tech solution involving twine and a hook on the back of her kitchen door.

Why on earth am I going to spend my time entering all that information into a web app? What do I get?

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