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Monday, Dec. 19, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Error Messages Shouldn’t be Confusing

By Josh Hay
December 19th, 2005

Xmassmall_4

(what’s this?)

I love to going to concerts. Living in New York, I can catch two to three shows a week. A lot of times I can just walk right up and buy tickets, but for popular shows I need to plan and get them in advance. Wanting to go see “Thursday” next week at the Starland Ballroom, I go to Ticketmaster.com.

Knowing that there are tons of shows listed, I decide to type Starland Ballroom into the search engine. I find Thursday and I click the link to get to the show page. After selecting two tickets, I choose the only option, general admission standing room. I hit the look for tickets button and went through the word verification tool. Suddenly this page pops up:

Ticketmaster

This is the least informative message I have ever received. It doesn’t define my problem and it just lists every possible problem that might have occurred while checking out. There is no indication of what I should do next and even if the show is sold out. Did I select too many tickets? Was there a problem with my ticket section selection? I will never find out the answers to this question because I will call the venue and buy the tickets myself. Ticketmaster, since you aren’t the only solution you can’t make consumers jump through so many hurdles to get what they want.

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Comments (1)

  1. Designers must get these things from a handbook called “standard error messages and graphics”. I had a few of these myself recently that look alarmingly like your screen shot, http://arc.typepad.com/customercrossroads/2005/12/trying_again_an.html

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