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A New Contender for Best 404 Error Message

Posted By Robert Gorell On February 21, 2008 @ 11:51 am In Web Design | 18 Comments

As any multi-tasker/easily-distracted-person knows, this happens all the time. We click on an a link sent via email, a few scrap letters get cut off the end, and OUCH… 404 error.

It really frosts my monocle.

Last year, Smashing Magazine offered plenty of example fodder for how to flip the 404 pancake [1]. Those ones were great, but now I’ve got a new personal favorite.

Although it may not be the talk of the town just yet, The New Yorker‘s error message [2] ought to be. Notice how they stay on-brand while keeping you engaged with the site:


(Click to see how they keep you from hitting the ‘back’ button.)


  • The cartoon supports their brand.
  • They link to fresh content.
  • There’s in-site search.
  • Full top navigation.
  • There’s even a podcast.
  • It’s memorable.
  • It should lower bounce rate [3].

Note to Smarty-Pants Readers: Yes, we realize our 404 message isn’t as cool as this — yet. At the moment, it takes you to our archives page. Feel free to cast the first stone in the comments ;)

Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/02/21/best-404-error/

URLs in this post:

[1] flip the 404 pancake: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/07/25/flipping-the-404-pancake/

[2] The New Yorker‘s error message: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2008/02/25/aldjfljas

[3] lower bounce rate: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/10/25/unlocking-key-performance-indictors-bounce-rate/

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