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December 13, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: shopping cart

ProvantageAlex Yourke points out:

On Provantage, an online shopping computer products store, clicking the "Remove" link under an item in your Shopping Cart does not remove the item - it throws an error dialog named "Javascript" that tells you what to do to remove the item.

To make matters worse, even if you follow the instruction of putting in a zero and clicking the "Remove" link again, it complains with the same error dialog! You actually have to figure out that you must click the "Recalculate" button after changing the quantity to zero. So, this "Remove" link is worse than useless, it forces the user to go through a series of unnecessary and unexplained steps.


That's just incredibly broken.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at December 13, 2005 08:31 AM

That is kinda dumb.

Posted by: TheHag at December 13, 2005 08:32 AM

So clicking the "remove" link fails to remove anything, and instead gives you directions on how to remove the item. The directions don't actually work because they are incomplete. That's broken on more than one level.

There always seems to be somebody who can find a way to claim something is "not broken", but it will be fascinating to see how they fast-talk their way out of this.

Posted by: SilvorMoon at December 13, 2005 11:01 AM

SilvorMoon, I predict at least one of the following arguments:

1. "The user is broken" argument: Silly user, why did you put the item in your shopping cart if you were just going to take it out again? Not broken, you weren't using the site the way it was intended to be used. (A favourite argument of website developers.)

2. "The user needs to be educated" argument: The correct method to remove an item is (ridiculously complicated procedure X). Not broken, as clicking "Remove" guides the user toward the first step of the procedure X, which they *should* be using, and they'll know better next time. (A favourite argument, I must admit, of my own group, in tech support.)

3. "It can't be broken because of the platform" argument. The error comes from my favourite platform (Javascript in this case), which is infinitely superior to any other platform. Not broken, because by definition this platform cannot be broken. (A favourite argument of users of OS X, Firefox, iPods, Harley-Davidsons, etc.)

Wanna lay any odds which one comes up first?

Posted by: E.T. at December 13, 2005 12:12 PM

I wouldn't trust their system with my credit card number.

(Perhaps this is some workaround they threw in after realizing that their javascript code wasn't portable?)

Posted by: Reed at December 13, 2005 02:37 PM

Uh, *completely broken* workaround, I should say...!

Posted by: Reed at December 13, 2005 02:38 PM

I'm not defending this.. because it clearly is broken. I just wanted to point out that the remove link does in fact work as one would think for me. (on Opera 8.5)

With one item in my cart, I clicked the remove link and it set the number to zero and refreshed the page to tell me my cart is empty.

Posted by: Eddie at December 13, 2005 03:08 PM

"Not Broken" Argument Number Four: Safari is broken.

Posted by: Fuzzy at December 13, 2005 04:42 PM

Seems to work now. Clicked remove and it asks if I want to remove item. Works with no problem. They must read this site.

Posted by: Dennis at December 13, 2005 06:52 PM

Kind of a no-brainer: If you have a link that gives a User instructions on how to do something, maybe the reason he clicked the link was because he actually wanted to do it. So why not just go ahead and do it for him?

Posted by: Josh Z. at December 13, 2005 07:24 PM


and smells like urine also

Posted by: Ron at December 13, 2005 09:23 PM

>>> Seems to work now. Clicked remove and it asks if I want to remove item. Works with no problem. They must read this site.

I don't want to be asked if I want to remove something if I've clicked 'remove.' It's not like I'm deleting system files; I'm deleting an item from a shopping cart. Still broken.

Oh, and I love Safari, but the second bug I predict to be a Safari bug: for whatever reason, you cannot enter zero (0) as the first digit on some forms on Safari (I know, because my zip code used to start with a zero so I could never enter all five digits because the first zero gets dropped). It works on some sites, though. Still broken.

Posted by: Michael McWatters at December 14, 2005 08:09 AM

I get a kick out of the fact that Javascript must be enabled in order to get the pop-up message. So why not use javascript to set the value to 0 and "click" recalculate for the user?

Posted by: Cory at February 21, 2006 03:21 PM

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