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February 7, 2005 12:59 AM

Broken: Fedex error message

Fedex2_1Seth Godin, originator of the idea for this site, points out a problem with the Fedex website.

The error reads, "To continue, please address all comments in red below." But there's nothing in red.


If you have a pop-up blocker involved, this could be the cause of the problem. I've run into similar problems on FedEx's website that were cured when I disabled protective features.

Posted by: Mike Harris at February 7, 2005 06:52 AM

Error messages in RED seem to be a common way of conveying information about corrections needed in filling in a web form. I hope that when the messages do finally appear, that there is some other way to easily identify them other than by colour. Colour-blindness is common enough in the population that it needs to be taken into account in designing a usable website.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at February 7, 2005 08:00 AM

Could be a popup blocker problem...

But more importantly, it's very strange to me that people are obsessed with various blockers and trying to keep their personal info secure... then they go and post their phone number on the internet for all to see.

A similar situation arises with ecommerce where many people think their credit card info will be stolen if they buy something. Then they go out to eat and hand the waiter their credit card... what do you think that kid does in the 5 minutes he has your card??

Obviously when strange purchses show up on your account it must have been stolen online by some genious who can decrypt the complicated algorithms that protect your credit card.

Just some online and offline "this is broken" prevention ideas.

Posted by: jv at February 7, 2005 08:20 AM

Carlos: Whenever I implement such functionality in web applications, I always highlight the errors not only in red but also in boldface type.

jv: Can't speak for others here, but my own use of pop-up blockers has nothing to do with privacy. I use them because pop-ups are bleeding annoying.

Posted by: codeman38 at February 7, 2005 08:32 AM

I agree completely, carlos. I'd use something like:

span style="border: red 1px solid; color: red"Please complete the fields indicated by red borders below./span


span style="border: red 1px solid; color: red"Name: input .../>/span


Posted by: Reed at February 7, 2005 09:08 AM

BROKEN. If there isn't even one comment in RED, then why they tell you to address coments in RED? That's stupid.

On the other hand, if the problem is due to the usage of a Pop Up blocker, it still is broken. Profesional web designers should know that Pop Ups are annoying and that there's an increasing number of computer users that have purchased or downloaded software to block them. Then, there's no excuse for them to include Pop Ups in a legitimate website, knowing that a good percentage of its users won't be able to see them, unless they disable their Pop Up blockers. BROKEN, BROKEN, BROKEn.

Posted by: sam at February 7, 2005 01:30 PM

>>Then, there's no excuse for them to include Pop Ups in a legitimate website

There is no difference between a "pop-up" and a page opening in a new window in this case. Good web surfers should know if they click on a link and nothing happens that they should disable their pop-up blocker (usually by hitting CNTL while clicking).

Although I don't think this particular case has anything to do with something opening in a new window.

Posted by: jv at February 7, 2005 02:29 PM

Did you include dashes when you typed in your account number? If so, try it without the dashes. There is still a problem with the web site but it might be a work-around.

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2005 04:40 PM

isnt the answer obvious?

the fedex site is broken


Posted by: joe plaugher at February 14, 2005 11:33 PM

Isn't it obvious? You can only see the red in night vision. DUH! ;D

Posted by: Administrator00192 at March 13, 2005 01:29 AM

You won't believe how many times this has happen to me. Not on Fedex but like 10 other sites!!!!!

Posted by: ethan at May 27, 2005 11:32 PM

I believe the *intended* error the website is trying to bring to light (still broken!) is that at least one option on the right in "Show Me These Types of Locations" must be checked. The user is, afterall, trying to find FedEx locations.

But still, definitly broken. "Show Map" is not a location!! You'd think the fluffy Cog Sci and Comm majors would be useful for something...

Posted by: steven at June 25, 2005 01:45 AM

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