back to article Superapp Gojek fine-tunes each new error message for a week. What? Why?

If you're the kind of geek who takes delight in – or even notices – the animated graphics that accompany error messages, you may be interested to know it takes an entire work week for motion designers at Indonesian web giant Gojek to create one. That tidbit was revealed in a blog post about the design process behind the …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    On The Simpsons, the fictional TV news channel had a stand-in 'Technical Difficulties' image of a cute puppy with a power cord in its mouth, sat next to an empty plug socket.

  2. cyberdemon Silver badge

    Error cartoons

    Usually in Corporate Memphis style. Epitomised by MS Teams and the idiot in the beanie hat with a thought bubble containing a question mark. Oops. Something went wrong! We're working on it!

    No you fucking aren't, you contemptuous pile of absolute utter SHITE! Just tell me what the damned error is. Why are you refusing to work this time. I could not care less for a picture of a cute puppy trying to electrocute itself.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wonder how often the same amount of effort devoted to extra coding or maybe a redesign could avoid having to display an erro message at all.

  4. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Old saying

    If you can't make it work, make it look pretty.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    How much do I get paid?

    No Internet connection

    Press [Retry] to try again

    Also Mosaic had the planet icon and a status bar over 30 years ago, whoever that person is but probably under 30.

  6. munnoch Bronze badge

    "spends around 70 percent of the time it takes to create an image just thinking about it."

    I do that too. Usually in a recumbent position with my eyes closed ... helps me to concentrate you understand.

    1. Frank Bitterlich

      Thinking... please wait...

      What's the hourly rate for this kind of work?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or in a seated position. Possibly leaning forward slightly. In a nicely tiled room, on a porcelain chair.

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "quirky and cute"

    This just makes things even more grating and annoying when you can't do what you want. Aaah look at the cute little cartoon puppy with a sad face! That looks the same as every other fucking cute little cartoon puppy with a sad face!

    Frankly, if this is going to become a standard thing, they need to go full on Itchy and Scratchy and have animations of the cartoon puppy being dropped into a shredder, whcih would at least distract us with a laugh for a few seconds.

  8. that one in the corner Silver badge

    "motion designer" is in some ways just a new way to say "animator."

    > The difference is that the format and style has changed over the years.

    It has changed enough "over the years" to warrant a new name, something that "animator" just doesn't conjure up. Hmm, interesting, tell use more.

    > In the past, animations were heavy on being verbal explainers. "They used to have a character and say things like 'this is Bob …', but they don't do that anymore.

    Why does this sound suspiciously like a description of low-effort early-morning children's TV cartoons? Do you think that is their entire reference pool for the work of animators?

    > Higher-end studios prefer something more abstract," he explained.

    What? What! They prefer something "more abstract" than anything those olden times (/sarcasm) animators turned out?

    Something more abstract than Prelude Taking A Line For A Walk. One of my personal favourites, the marvellous Erica Russels' Feet Of Song and Triangle (you may remember her style from a number of UK TV ads and some music videos back in the 80's and 90's). Or go and dig out some of the Drawn-on-film animation such as the nobody-ever-saw-it (/sarcasm) A Colour Box ad for the GPO that was shown in cinemas across the UK (i.e. these abstracts were never intended, nor treated, as some niche product, hidden away from the masses - which makes it all the stranger that someone who "knows enough about animation to realise what they are doing now is so very different it warrants a new name" seems so ignorant).

    > A wordless animated image may also be a clever way for a business that operates in five different countries

    "Wordless" - well, although all the above integrate the sounds with the visuals, they are wordless. Okay, the dance pieces work do rely on the soundtrack, so how about something from Jan Švankmajer: Passionate Discourse - you could even use part of that as a progress bar for, say, a diff/merge operation!

    All of the really great animations work without narration or text (ok, the aforementioned A Colour Box has some text in it, so I probably should have left it out - except it is such a nice example of dissemination of the abstract; ok, ok, I like it and want to share it). If you switch off the sound and just watch the narration-heavy The Man Who Planted Trees you are still shown a story with a depth, from the abstractions, that a straight filmed version would struggle to capture (sorry, sorry, getting a bit into film reviewer mode there).

    > "It goes back to ten to twenty years ago when we surfed online and there was nothing to tell you if a website was loading. Then they introduced a preloader – a bar that progressively was filled in, so visually the user doesn't think the browser is hung," mused the creative director.

    As Dan 55 pointed out, this "creative" director has missed *another* piece of history, the 30 year old browser progress indicator (and still that ignores the pre-browser progress bars, let alone the even older "print out a dot every now and again, to let the User know we haven't crashed" precursor to the Mosaic planet icon).

    So not only do we *not* need 'a new way to say "animator"', attempting to do so shows a total lack of awareness of the subject (gosh, some of those references are almost 80 years old, they can't possibly be of relevance to Today's Exciting New Apps) but is actually insulting to those people who pioneered the methods.


    For more, start with the 4Mations YouTube list.


    Once more, I am merely a programmer, not a Creative, let alone a Creative Director, so what do I know; we operate in totally different areas of work and I can not possibly expect to hold them up to the same requirements about depth of research or general knowledge that are needed for the boarish work I've done to earn a buck.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: "motion designer" is in some ways just a new way to say "animator."

      Your software has failed to compile.

      Error in line 1,523

      The error code will now be given by means of interpretative dance.

  9. EricB123 Bronze badge

    AI, eat your heart out.

    This is one task that won't be replaced by a machine. Maybe thankfully so.

    1. Roopee Silver badge

      Re: AI, eat your heart out.

      I doubt that very much!

  10. DrollLeek

    Is that Cyriac..

    .. in any way connected with the b3ta regular from back in't day?


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like