“Waiting for Network” is a message that’s often displayed at the bottom of my Waze app. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s because I’ve activated the app on my way to the car or within a faint WiFi range of the office and it’s stuck thinking that the Internet is not working and never trying LTE. I then think that it never tries again to connect to the server.

The issue might be something else, but when you don’t provide an explanation, the user will come with their own narrative for why things don’t work (issues because of an unrelated device update, the gravitation pull of the moon on the Earth, etc). It’s better to over-communicate with users about why an error message is being displayed and potential resolutions.

On a similar vein, I see “Network Unavailable” messages on Android that come up and disappear leaving no assurance. Yes, these are 0-world problems but they impact potentially hundreds of millions of people and create little annoyances. On apps that require constant connectivity, the fix is either to work on the connectivity (hard) or just be a little bit clearer on what’s happening when connectivity stops.

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Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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