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Creative mistakes – Innovative 404 pages

A 404 error page doesn’t just have to be a bland message; theEword creative director Tom Glass talks us through some of the options available for web designers when creating an error page.


This interactive 404 page, from an American film studio, is creative brilliance. It demonstrates how a simple error message can emphasise the innovation and originality of an organisation.

Be witty:

The 404 page from the BBC takes an iconic photograph and turns it into a subtle joke at the corporation’s expense. It’s witty and charming, capitalising on the company’s heritage to create an innovative 404 page.

Call to action:

This computer commerce store uses its 404 page to advertise its services to the user. The phone number is positioned for maximum exposure, inviting potential consumers to contact the business for more details.

Present other options:

The social network Vimeo offers waylaid users an opportunity to go to other areas of the site. Use this technique to stop readers completely bouncing off the domain after a 404 error.

Use humour:

The 404 error page from Twitter client Hootsuite uses humour to explain that an error has occurred. It gives the brand a personality and allows the user an insight into the working culture of an organisation.

Written by Tom Glass

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