Marceau, Fisler and Krishnamurthi, "On novices' interactions with error messages"
A rare empirical study that I found extremely useful.
Outside of a univ course, my lessons are slightly different from the paper's:
* Maintain a map of error messages for a project, use this to minimize the vocabulary of error messages.
* Be enigmatic rather than risk misleading
* Make affordances beyond error messages optional. Color-coding has a cost. Not highlighting may be better.
Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.