How many of us have high expectations for the web? Click on a page and expect it to load in an instant. 8 seconds max. Watch the graphics load and expect nothing of pixelated quality. Open the site on a mobile device and anticipate the responsive mobile version... Name the qualm; someone's been a critic.
With the rise of startups and new web services and products, the web is full of beautiful landing pages... subtle gradients, CSS ribbons, cute 3D mascots... Basic web branding standards are certainly met or exceeded. Everything looks reliable... and then you click on a page that leads to... nowhere!
"404 Not Found... The requested URL was not found on this server."
All of a sudden, all faith is lost. We grimace, then curse, "This startup is sure to fail!" Or maybe some of us are more forgiving and understand that startups are still in the process of putting things together.
In any case... how would your gut response change if you saw something like this instead:
NLT needs a 404 Error page!
In my opinion, humor melts the expectations of users. The web is generally a stark place. (Note: The fact that rounded corners is still not a standard CSS3 element in Internet Explorer indicates that the web is still pretty rigid.) Thus a little product of human expression may be just what we need to *connect* with our readers (even before they are official readers).
What say you? Anyone have any "inside jokes" in education that also mean "Oops"? Ideas will be sent along to Daniel Um and the design team as inspiration...