Usability: Watch out for those non-errors that start with “ER”

Today I had a nice lesson in transaction codes. I did a happy little online transaction, and then the confirmation screen came up with what at first glance looked like an error. It startled me, until I read more closely:

Thank you. Your transaction has been placed and received by SuperMondoCorp.

Transaction Confirmation Number: ER6661234567

“Yikes!” thought I to myself, thought I. Then, “oh, the bolded confirmation number just starts with ER which only looks like ERR.” (And yes, the rest of the number did start with 666. I only altered the other numbers.)

I realize you can’t anticipate everything, but it is a reminder about usability. If the thing you draw the customer’s eye to on a confirmation screen can start with what looks like a negative confirmation, it’s not the greatest thing.