Summary:Using a modal dialog to display an error message can cause usability problems on mobile devices. Error handling must respect human-memory constraints and remain visible as the user is fixing the problem.
Established wisdom holds that good error messages are polite, precise, and constructive. The Web brings a few new guidelines: Make error messages clearly visible, reduce the work required to fix the problem, and educate users along the way.
Raluca Budiuis Director of Research at Nielsen Norman Group, where she consults for clients from a variety of industries and presents tutorials on mobile usability, designing interfaces for multiple devices, quantitative usability methods, cognitive psychology for designers, and principles of human-computer interaction. She also serves as editor for the articles published on NNgroup.com. Raluca coauthored the NN/g reports on tablet usability, mobile usability, iPad usability, and the usability of children's websites, as well as the book Mobile Usability.She holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.