4 Creative Design Ideas for 404 Error Screen

Saurabh Tiwary | 31st May 2017

Error 404 occurred!- Nothing to Display.

Well, this is one of the worst experiences a web user can have while accessing a website. Clicking on an eye-catching content that redirects to the broken link can be really very annoying. 404 errors occur when you click on a site’s URL that is either incorrect or has no content.

Before I talk further about the 404 error page design ideas, I would like to draw your kind attention towards the significant impact a website can have with 404 error pages.

  • 404 errors degrade the website rank and affect your SEO.
  • It leads to the bad user experience of the website visitors.
  • Such errors lead to the increased website bounce rate.
  • As a result, websites suffer in terms of conversion rates and have low CTR.


So, let us discuss few intuitive ways to deal with such 404 pages.


  1. Study your Best Content

You never control when the user encounters a 404 error. But what you can control is drive them to something best you have to offer. One of the best ways to do this is by navigating them to the other sections of the site that you might think would be worth visiting.

As a good rule of thumb, place some links to the interesting articles on your site. One way to filter the best content within the site is to figure out something that might serve the interest of users with different mindsets.


  1. Offer Freebies in Exchange of E-mail Address

Another great way to deal with 404 errors UX is to offer your visitors something in lieu of their email addresses which can be used for your business development goals and to send then weekly newsletters etc. You can offer tips, ebooks, and other useful content.


  1. Add a Search Box

A great way is to redirect users to a search box on website’s 404 error page to make it convenient for visitors to look for anything. Even in the case of a broken incoming link, if you allow users to search internally for their interest, it might definitely lead them to the right direction.

A good example is to observe microblogging site Twitter; how well does it incorporate the search box to explore their site.


  1. Don’t Add Humor

A number of website administrators incorporate a silly approach by adding humor to their 404 page which is not at all a good idea. The majority of visitors don’t find the broken link of a site to be funny. They just want to go through the content they’re looking for. Moreover, they want it to be done as quickly as possible without any hassle. So, while trying to make visitors smile is a kind way to deal with the situation, taking a practical initiative may yield better results.

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Saurabh Tiwary

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