How should 404 pages be designed to avoid frustrating your visitors? We’ve compiled some of the funniest and most creative examples to demonstrate how a clever 404 page can actually help your business.
Before we get too engrossed in the topic of this blog, let’s quickly establish what a 404 page is. A 404 page tells a visitor that the page they were originally trying to find no longer exists. As there is no web page to display, the web server returns a “404 Page not found” error.
Visitors landing on a 404 page may seem like a company’s worst nightmare, but this can be a blessing in disguise. This page should be used as an opportunity to direct visitors to another page on your website, or provide them with a search bar to ensure they can find a page related to what they were originally looking for.
So, how should 404 pages really be designed to ensure you don’t irritate your website visitors? We’ve compiled some of the funniest, most successful, and creative 404 pages on the internet to demonstrate how a clever 404 page can actually help your business.
A light-hearted 404 page by Emailcenter asks users who should be fired because you landed on their 404 page. It also includes the option of returning to the home page so users can navigate to the information they were looking for.
This indie and vintage inspired online retailer use an animated Pug who has “misplaced his favourite outfit”. This fits the brand perfectly and hopefully entertains the user, rather than the 404 frustrating them. By providing additional links, users can quickly and easily navigate to another section of the website to find the products they are looking for.
Their spinning astronaut lost in space holding a 404 flag is a perfect way to illustrate Iconfinder’s 404 page as the website sells over 1 million icons. Again, they offer the option of returning to the home page to make sure the visitor does not leave.
Android Dev 101
This 404 page by Android Dev is perfect for their target audience and uses a good mixture of design and humour. Again it provides that important option of returning to the homepage so users can find their way.
Postbox creates a memorable scene with their 404 page, using a great mixture of design and information to delight users and make sure they find what they were looking for.
Spotify uses smart imagery of someone listening to music sleeping with a related caption and useful links helping users to navigate.
Heinz’ very clever landing page uses smart product imagery of an empty bottle of Tomato Ketchup with helpful links and a search bar to help users navigate to another location on their website.
MOZ uses their robot to communicate their 404 message with the caption “Oh, man. Roger is totally lost”. Not only that, the robot clicks through to a Robot YouTube video of “Johnny 5 – I Need a Hero” which adds to the light-hearted nature of the 404 error. Again, useful links and a search bar are available to help users navigate to the correct destination URL.
Blue Fountain Media
Blue Fountain Media provide users with something a little bit different in case you got bored when you couldn’t find the page you were looking for - a game of Pacman.
The 404 pages included within this blog provide insights into the wide-range of clever designs and messaging companies have used to smartly communicate a 404 error with their visitors. If you have recently stumbled across any creative 404 messages feel free to share a link to the page with us!