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The empty page

About love-hate relationships with 404 error pages.

Author: Christophe Stoll
Date: 2. September 2008

Everybody sort of hates 404 pages: seeing them means that what you’re looking for is not there (anymore). But we also love well done 404 pages. They often show how you can actually incorporate nice ideas even in the darkest corners of a website.

Just found the Heinz example here while browsing the 404 pages collections of Pattern Tap.

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Oh, there are 2 comments so far

  1. i wish it would be possible to empty a ketchup bottle like this.

    Johannes Schardt on 5. September 2008
  2. Christophe, my opinion is that we should not be showing 404 pages at all. Why?

    So-called well-done 404 pages often tell us to search for the page we were looking for, using the site’s search box. Why not skipping this step and directly re-parse the wrong URL and sending it along to the search automatically. Should solve things like spelling mistakes, incomplete urls, etc. without annoying the user and magically reducing the possibilities for him/her to feel like having made a mistake.
    If we don’t find the content this way, we can still show our search’s custom zero-results page with a little notification, that we already have done something.

    To actually show a 404 page is NEVER funny, except for us designers, that love examples like the one from Heinz, which is actually not available under heinz.com/404 anymore.

    MiSc on 8. October 2008

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