SlideShare: upload failed

Yesterday was the 2015 edition of the ISTA conference in Sofia. I had the pleasure to speak about measuring soft performance in front of a nice audience. Thanks to the organizers for the opportunity and the attendees for filling up the room!

I upload my slides to SlideShare. SlideShare has a smooth and convenient process for adding slides to the site. Today I uploaded the slides from the ISTA presentation:

I had to do it twice. The first time something failed. Unfortunately the site was not very helpful. It just gave me a message:

Oops, something went wrong. Upload failed

This was all. Then I had to repeat it all.


  1. Lost data. I had already entered a description for the presentation and selected categories and tags. Not a lot of work, still work and time.
  2. What now? The message told me that the upload failed. It told me that the SlideShare team has no idea what went wrong (or rather knows at least a dozen of reasons but does not have the technical ability to distinguish among them). It however did not really tell me what to do
  3. Lie. The message actually lied to me. My presentation was really there. I could use the right and left arrows to navigate the slides. So I guess the uploading itself went well but then something else went wrong.


Design for humans: Preserve user data. Give users an explicit option to upload again. There are different ways to do it. One way could be to first save the item and ask the user to upload the file again – an explicit Upload Again button or link in the message will do well. Another option will be to ask users to Try Again and add an explanation that the data that users have already entered will be reused in the next attempt.

20 November 2015 | SlideShare


2 thoughts on “SlideShare: upload failed”

  1. Thank you for posting this and making it findable! I agree, there’s no excuse for them not to have a “try again” button!

    In my case, I opened another browser tab and went to the upload page again so I could copy & paste the old values into the new tab.

    Liked by 1 person

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