Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

Error Jargon

Published on January 09, 2006
By Pete Freitag

While working today I had to write an error message that a user would see if their session had timed out. I was tempted to write something like:

Sorry your session has expired please login again.

But I quickly realized that the average user has no idea what a session is referring to, and why it has expired. In some cases the user may think that their account has expired. Users may also not understand what you mean by a timeout - that's where you send the bad kids?

Us web developers often throw technical jargon into our web applications without much thought. I've done it, and I've seen lots of messages that only a web developer would understand out there.

Lets try to be better about this, ok?

errors exceptions writing copy error message

Error Jargon was first published on January 09, 2006.

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It would really depend on the auidance, but perhaps something like this:

Please login to your account again. We had to log you out after a period of inactivity.
by Pete Freitag on 01/09/2006 at 2:40:00 PM UTC
Or something less formal:

We thought you left so we logged you out. Please login again.
by Pete Freitag on 01/09/2006 at 2:41:07 PM UTC
can you shed some light on - how to call mx webservice from CF5 ?. BTW, Its been a while you posted anything on webservices...
by BullMann on 01/09/2006 at 5:06:12 PM UTC
how about putting a positive security spin on it, like "to make sure that no-one else can get into your account while you're away from your computer, we've automatically logged you out."
by bob on 01/10/2006 at 4:19:01 AM UTC
I like that one bob...

BullMann - there are a few articles on consuming web services in CF 5 out there. You might also try playing with Apache Axis - the java api that CFMX uses for web services.
by Pete Freitag on 01/10/2006 at 8:11:51 AM UTC