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  1. Nick

    while i don’t disagree with anything in this article, i think an error header is more necessary than a image cue. there are certain scenarios where displaying an error by itself can leave a user lost. even for the example above, i’d rather do something like…

    [div class="error"]

      [h2]Please Correct the Following Errors[/h2]

      [ul]

        [li][a href="#fieldID" rel="error_help"]Your postal/zip code was not in the correct format.[/a][/li]

      [/ul]

    [/div]  

    even w/ css and images turned off, this makes sense. worst case scenario is a large, noticeable heading with a bulleted list of errors. with css turned on, you can add any visual cues you need (ie; single icon for the h2, icons for each li, etc.). then, if the dom is available, have a script attach a function to each rel=”error_help” that focuses and selects the corresponding field when the error message is clicked.