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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:



  1. Dude,

    Phulki has been replaced with

    My apologies if the focus of your post has been to highlight how information should be communicated to users rather than finding out an alternative to phulki

    • @DK: It wasn’t a rant against Phulki.

      This post is part of my series on GUI bloopers and the case with phulki was an example of a site going down posting a misleading message, and reincarnating itself in a different avatar without giving a clue to the user who is waiting patiently for it to come back.

      The site should have told me to go to instead of telling me that it will be back in a short while (the phulki site has been updated now, btw).

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  1. By Doing it right « SUNlit Adventures on 16 Jun 2010 at 2:45 pm

    […] SUNlit Adventures Rohan Ranade's weblog About « How long or short is “short”, really? […]

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