How not to make an error message

Originally published at: - Miguel's website

This is what Google Chrome shows on my PC when it can’t connect to the internet:

It says:

Unable to connect to the Internet

Google Chrome can’t display the webpage because your computer isn’t connected to the Internet.

You can try to diagnose the problem by taking the following steps:

Click Start, click Run, type %windir%\ etwork diagnostic\\xpnetdiag.exe, and then click OK.

Error 106 (net::ERR_INTERNET_DISCONNECTED): The Internet connection has been lost.

The Run command won’t actually work (there’s a space instead of an ‘n’ in the word ‘network’).

But more importantly, who at Google thought this was a friendly and informative screen to show users? Can you see your computer-illiterate relative seeing this page when they’re just trying to get to Netflix or Facebook?

I love Chrome as much as the next guy, but this is a case where the browser is just unpolished. Compare the error message to Internet Explorer and Safari’s error messages when they can’t connect to the internet: