A 404 error page is an inevitable part of website management. It occurs when a user tries to access a page that no longer exists or has been moved or renamed. However, a 404 page doesn’t have to be a dead end for users. In fact, many brands have taken the opportunity to turn these error pages into engaging and memorable experiences. In this blog post, we will explore the best practices and examples of 404 pages from 50+ leading brands.
1. Utilize Humor:
One effective way to handle a 404 error page is by injecting humor. Many brands have embraced this approach and used witty and creative copy or visual elements to lighten the frustration of users. For example, MailChimp’s 404 page showcases a friendly monkey with a playful message, ensuring users don’t get discouraged.
2. Incorporate Branding Elements:
Keeping the branding consistent even on error pages helps reinforce the brand identity and assures users they are still connected to the intended website. Brands like GitHub and Airbnb effectively integrate their logo and design aesthetic into their 404 pages, maintaining a cohesive experience throughout the site.
3. Offer Guidance and Navigation:
While a 404 page signifies a broken link, brands can take the opportunity to offer alternative routes for users to explore. Including clear navigation options or a search bar allows users to find what they were originally looking for. As an example, Lego’s 404 page features a search bar and popular product categories to help users get back on track.
4. Showcase Relevant Content:
To keep users engaged, brands can display personalized or relevant content on their 404 pages. Companies like Spotify present personalized playlists or popular songs that may pique users’ interest, encouraging them to spend more time on the site. This approach turns a negative experience into a potentially positive one.
5. Incorporate Interactive Elements:
Interactive elements can create a sense of engagement and fun on 404 pages. For instance, Blizzard Entertainment’s 404 page enables users to play an interactive game while they’re redirected back to the main website. This not only helps the user pass the time but also enhances the overall user experience.
A well-designed 404 page can turn a potentially frustrating experience into an opportunity for brands to leave a lasting impression on their users. By leveraging humor, incorporating branding elements, offering guidance and navigation, showcasing relevant content, and incorporating interactive elements, brands can transform error pages into engaging and memorable experiences. With the examples shared by 50+ leading brands, web designers and developers can draw inspiration to create their own unique and user-friendly 404 page.