When programming, I tend to quickly dash off error messages such as:
Invalid date: '28-Ap' which is hardly useful from a user’s perspective. The user may not know what do to fix the problem
A better error message should give the user enough information to fix the error. A message like the one below should be more appropriate:
Error: Invalid date format
Change to DD-MMM format: '28-Ap'
A better error message has two parts: 1) state the error precisely and 2) describe how the user can correct the error.
Better error messages, happier users…