My organization runs a reasonably large web application, which occasionally has errors (although not as often as you would think from dealing with bug duty). I was wondering if there is any research into acceptable and/or best practices for error rates on large websites, from either a usability perspective, or whether there is information publicly available for any other large sites.

And "no errors ever" is not the answer I am looking for. :-)


This really depends on what you consider an error, there are quite a number of things users would consider an error that simply are not measurable or quantifiable, this is why testing and user lab research are so important.

Hard errors like 404 and 500 are easy to monitor and fix but many 'errors' are down to poor or inconsistent design/IA, or a simple lack of understanding of users needs and visual focus.

The simple answer is no, because each site and user group is different.

  • Is the answer no that there is no research, or not that there is no best practice? May 4 '12 at 16:47
  • @DrewMiller both, manage the errors you can see, fix the bugs that are reported and test the functionality that you have. To put the question another way, what would be an acceptable error rate for a car over time? May 4 '12 at 23:03

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