Lazy programming, Unenlightened design or a Resource problem?

What does it say about an application when the application knows you made a mistake, and it merely tells you about the mistake. Should it not also do something towards correcting the mistake?

This happened while trying to go to a stale URL. ((A stale URL can surface if the website you're visiting has a time out or requires input prior to being displayed, like on a search.)) A stale URL usually "worked" before it was stale, this is different than a 404 or other server error messages.

Bad URL Bad message
Bad URL Bad message

My suggestion would be, if you know the user went to the bad URL, then you shouldn't even tell them about it, just take them to the right place ((This should not be done with a 404 page, a 404 page should be informative and describe the reason for reaching it while at the same time suggest an alternative)). You might ask: What is the right place? I don't know, but you should! At the very least, I know that you know that this isn't the right place and you should take some steps to correct this.

This problem happened because I waited too long to do something and the system logged me out. Instead of seeing this message, I should have been taken to my profile page, if not logged in then to the login page. You already have visibility into who I am, where I came from and where I intended to go; use it.

Once you send me to "the right place" you could leverage your knowledge about me present a meaningful message telling me that the URL I tried was no longer valid and then explain what I can do next. This particular message is rather pretentious isn't it? you might want to visit a valid page, well, excuse me but, it was valid 10 minutes ago and I, might just want to find a better website.

Perhaps if you find yourself in this situation, the first step would be to expand that message and make it more useful. Make some suggestions about the reasons why this is not a valid page.

There is the slight chance that similar issues might rise in smaller websites, where there is one guy programming the whole thing and frankly what I'm talking about here is polishing your product. I can understand if your personal blog throws something similar to this once in a while, its just you working on it so resources may be scarce. That's understandable, and tolerable, but in this case the website is part of a huge financial corporation that should have details like this covered.

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