Have you ever mistyped a URL and found yourself on something far different from what you were expecting? If you’re anything like me, this is a daily occurrence. You may end up on a humorous comic, a cute picture of a baby animal, or even an interactive game. These pages that cannot be found are known as 404 pages.
An easy solution to a 404 page is to redirect a visitor to the homepage or another safe page for them to not get redirected away from the site. Many businesses, however, like to engage the user through these pages. 404 pages have been evolving every year with more thought being put in.
Here are a few of our favorites we’ve come across over the years.
The Bloomberg 404 page is one of our personal favorites. It’s a funny animated gif of a frustrated businessman hitting his computer after coming across a page not found on the Bloomberg site, then randomly disintegrating within his clothes.
The page is entertaining, but it keeps the same menu as the site to easily navigate to other pages and includes a link to the homepage in the error to point the user in the right direction.
Who doesn’t appreciate a good movie quote? Especially when they’re altered to reflect a page error. IMDB generates a new quote each time you refresh the page with a link to the original source.
Adding the randomly generated quotes could entice constant page refreshing to see what other quotes might come up. It also includes a link to the homepage to quickly get back to the main site, similar to the Bloomberg page.
Sometimes cute and simple works best. Lego represents the disconnect with unplugged cables, which gives you a clear idea of why you’ve reached that page.
A small feature of this page is a clear search bar on top. Being able to directly search from the 404 page can more easily bring your visitor to the page they originally intended to go.
Most recently, interactive 404 pages have been increasing in popularity. From animations to full-on micro-games, some companies try to one-up everyone else with something more complex. Slack has created a small animated scene with user interaction. Not only does it scroll left and right based on the pointer, you can also click and hold on some elements to trigger an action.
While it might not be as useful as other 404 pages, it’s an interesting twist to a traditional “Page Not Found” error.
Custom 404 pages can be a great way to ease any potential frustration a visitor might have by misspelling a URL or clicking on a link that’s pointed to the wrong location. By adding some humor and engaging the user, we have an opportunity to keep them on the site instead of deterring them. While it might seem like a novelty page, there should be useful information to get people back on track to keep that on-site retention high.