How about this for an error message, courtesy of WordPress:
Given what I do, my first thought was ‘Excellent!’ and my second was ‘Can you imagine getting that from a government web site?’ I’ll bet some poor developer would get spoken to about it :-) .
As it was, it gave me a laugh at Matt’s expense (whoever he is), and by the time I’d shown it to my wife and then hit the reload button things were indeed back to normal – as promised.
The kind of thing that normally annoys the crap out of a user … well, I actually enjoyed it. I got a laugh out of it, gave them a moment to get back to normal and we carried on as if nothing had happened. I don’t mind that at all. It’s about the same thing that would happen if a bloke in the pub accidentally spilt his beer on me.
I’d be forgiving even of a government site that glitched like that – or Air New Zealand, or Stuff.co or anyone else. I don’t expect them to spill their beer on me, but you’ve gotta expect the odd glitch on the web and in this case WordPress handled it brilliantly, IMHO.
But I imagine I’ll more likely get an error message that’s dry and technical and character-less and just annoys the crap out of me. What a shame, when sites like WordPress can handle a glitch with a style that has real people behind it. The kind of people you might have a beer with for example, if they didn’t spill it on you.
On ya, WordPress, for rescuing a negative user experience and turning it into a positive one.