404 Pages and Underscore.js

Dec 6, 2010
Episode 46
In this week's episode, Nick goes over the finer points of 404 pages. Then, Jim introduces the Underscore.js library.

Thanks to those who make Doctype possible!

404 Pages

404 pages, or just any kind of error pages in general, are often overlooked. When you’re working on your website or web app, it can be easy to get caught up in the actual site and leave the error messages as an afterthought. Instead, you should try to make sure that you have good error pages, so that when people do get lost, it’s not as bad.

Take the Blame

First, when your error page comes up, try to take the blame for it. Often times, a user will blame themselves when something goes wrong with computer software, but you don’t want them to feel that way. Be apologetic.

Next Step

When your 404 page comes up, it’s also a good idea to offer a next step that people can take. Offer a sitemap or links to important parts of the site. Better yet, offer a search box.

Maintain Branding

Make sure that your 404 page looks like the rest of your website. You should keep the main navigation so that people can still get around if they get lost.


Underscore.js is a JavaScript library that provides useful functions for objects, arrays, collections and functions.

All of the methods are properties of the _ variable, so it doesn’t interfere with other libraries or your code.

Check out the full documentation here