Is there anything more irritating that an error message that gives you no information about the error that occurred?

Was it a network error? Is the server down? Is the authentication service not working? Where can I go for more information on the problem? Can I do anything to resolve it?

Speaking as a former programmer, the problem lies mainly  in either laziness or bad customer experience design.

If there was a software user’s bill of rights: fully descriptive and helpful error messages would be at the top of my list. To make it grandma friendly, you could do the explanatory bits via a “more info” link.

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