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Monthly Archives: June 2010

In the example above, what does the Cancel button do? The answer is: it does nothing. Clicking on it opens the application anyway. So, why call it cancel? OK could have been much better.

After my recent post on a maintenance page of a site leaving much to be desired, here is an example of a site doing it right.

The page feels so right. The following elements make the page effective:

  1. An apology for the inconvenience.
  2. An assurance that the issue is being looked into
  3. A possible remedy
  4. A couple of backup link suggestions for the user to spend his time while the issue is being resolved.

For the past one week (or more), has been a picture of sadness.

Isn’t it annoying that a site goes down for maintenance for about a week or so, and doesn’t tell you a single thing about when it’s going to be back? “Please check back shortly” is an insult to a user who expects “shortly” to be a day or so (generously), and keeps coming back to the site for about a week, to find the same message, and then gives up and finds some other streaming music website. Nice way to lose loyalty.

How short or long is “short”, dear Surely 7 days is not a short time. I am trying not to be too harsh to the Phulki folks, but this is an example of poor (rather zero) feedback. Problems happen. Maybe something is so seriously broken that it does need 7 days (and maybe more) of maintenance. But then, would it not be better to keep the user informed of this? The message should have mentioned when the site is expected to be back up. Also, it’s generally good to own up to the issue. Saying sorry and assuring the user that the folks are doing everything to resolve the problem quickly helps preserve the loyalty of the user. Also, if the maintenance is a planned one, then it’s always a good practice to give advance notice to your users about the maintenance coming up (Phulki did not do this as well).

For the folks at, here are some good examples of how to do a maintenance page: