Error Message

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What Does Error Message Mean?

An error message is a message displayed to the user by an operating system or application when an unexpected condition happens. In most cases, error messages are displayed with the help of dialog boxes by the operating system or application. Error messages are required when user intervention is needed or to pass important warnings.

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Techopedia Explains Error Message

Part of every computer hardware, software and even the operating system, error messages are widely seen throughout the computing world. They alert users of an issue which has occurred. Different standards of displaying error messages are followed by different applications or operating systems. Although most use dialog boxes or pop-up boxes, notification icons and status bars are also used for displaying error messages.Effective and proper error messages require users to be informed of the problem, why it occurred and give guidance or a solution to resolve the issue. Based on the error message prompt, users are expected to change the data input or behavior or perform a different course of actions.

Proper design of error messages is an important criteria in the fields of usability and even in other fields involving human-computer interactions. For quality user experience, the error messages need to be well-documented and helpful. Poorly documented error messages result in poor user and product satisfaction.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.