404 Page and the NotFound Project

Posted on October 1, 2012 by kate

The words ‘404 error page’ appear when users get misdirected to a broken link and can be a nuisance to any web user. But altering the page to include humour or interesting graphics can help to alleviate any potential frustration and maybe even bring a smile to a consumer’s face. Creating entertaining 404 error pages has been a popular way to re-engage ‘lost’ visitors online for several years and they continue to be a point of entertainment across technology, internet and design websites.

With this in mind, Bite Digital set about creating an amusing and sharable 404 error page for King of Servers, specialists in B2B IT retail. Our creative team put together an innovative video featuring two visibly upset ‘geeks’ accompanied by a detective at a press conference. The detective goes on to explain that the content for that page is missing and urges it to return home.

HOWEVER just weeks before the video was to go live, news emerged that 404 error pages were in line to incorporate genuine ‘missing’ posters as a means of raising visibility when children or young people go missing. The idea bears some similarity to the milk carton campaigns of America, but this modern take sees pictures and biographical details appear where web pages have been deleted.

Reacting quickly to the news, we decided to pull the video amid fears that it would appear insensitive to an incredibly worthwhile cause.  The process proved to be a lesson in the rapidly changing nature of the industry and how to avoid negative publicity. We have also joined the initiative ourselves, adding Bite Digital to the expanding list of sites to feature missing person’s information.

The NotFound project was put together by numerous Eurpoean organisations, including Missing Children Europe, Child Focus, and the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children. So far, almost 1000 sites have signed up to place this information on what would otherwise be empty pages and anyone who owns a website is encouraged to join the initiative.

For more information on NotFound and to add the snippet of code to display details of missing children to your site, simply visit http://notfound.org/






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