Contingency design is the overcoming and prevention of error scenarios. These are situations in which visitors to the website encounter problems, such as a “404 - Not Found” page.
The idea behind contingency design is that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ site - no matter how thoroughly it is tested. There is always a chance that visitors will encounter problems, either through their own actions, or because of an error on the site. Contingency design offers visitors assistance in solving such problems.
The advantages of attention to contingency design
Paying attention to contingency design reduces the frustration among visitors. A site that offers visitors assistance whenever they encounter a problem will result in greater satisfaction and loyalty among its visitors.
Contingency design in practice
A practical application of contingency design in common situations.
Links and references
- Making Mistakes Well
- Contingency Design Whitepaper
- Contingency design, error messages - user experience design articles and resources