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Error Message Best Practices

Some areas of Cartegraph, such as Automation Manager, now allow you to write your own error messages. It is important that your error messages be clear and concise.

An error message displays when an entry or action in the system is not a best practice and gives the user an opportunity to change before continuing.

What Went Wrong and How to Fix It

Warning messages contain two parts—the title and body:

The title should tell what caused the error. For example, if the error was caused when trying to save a task record, use a title like Cannot Save Task.

The message body contains the explanation of what went wrong and how to fix it. For example, an inspection could not be saved because a required field was not filled out or filled out incorrectly. Another situation is when naming. 

NOTE: Cartegraph recommends testing the messages with some users to make sure they understand what the issue is and how to resolve it.

Messages Considerations

  • Space consideration for all devices. This message may display on a large monitor, a laptop, a tablet, or smartphone. Keep the message short so it displays clearly on any size screen.
  • Clarity/simplicity. Get to the point, use as few words necessary, but be complete. Including instructions on how to resolve the issue is the key to keeping the workflow moving.
  • Users with a lower reading vocabulary and nonnative speakers. When messages are written using clear, basic vocabulary and sentence structure, then anyone of any reading level will successfully follow the instructions in the messaage.
  • Correct grammar and spelling. This makes sure the intent of your message is correctly communicated.
  • No contractions. Many times messages are quickly scanned or not read at all. Using contractions causes confusion in these situations and should be avoided for best message clarity.

Examples

Suppose a user is in the Tasks List view and selects a group of tasks, followed by Generate Route from the Actions menu. The problem is the tasks do not meet the requirements to be included in a route and the message explains what is missing from the requirements.

MessageExample1.png

Suppose a user selects a group of tasks in the List view, and then from the Actions menu, selects Distribute Resources. The problem is the tasks in the group do not meet the requirement for the feature.

MessageExample2.png

The following message displays when a record has fields that are filled out incorrectly and need to be corrected before continuing with the workflow.


MessageExample3.png

 

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