Why You Don’t Skimp on QA

Wow, Wal-Mart really screwed the pooch on this one. If you visit their new Video Download beta site, you get a somewhat nice experience – not great, but not too bad – provided you are using Internet Explorer:

Walmart Video Downloads in IE (thumbnail)

If, however, you are using a modern browser such as say, Firefox, your experience is somewhat … shall we say, different?

Walmart Video Downloads in Firefox (thumbnail)

Notice anything wrong? Obviously, no one mentioned that over 10% of the country uses Firefox, including what might be a disproportionate number of the users who might use a download service like this. Of course, we are talking about Wal-Mart customers…

I sure hope that someone loses their job over this – this is sloppy and a REALLY poor example of what happens when you don’t do proper QA (or use qualified designers). I could go to town on the code itself, but could I really do worse than what they already show here?


4 Responses to “Why You Don’t Skimp on QA

  • hahaha…idiots. I’ll have to open it up in Opera and Safari on da Mac and see how bad it looks there!

  • I tested with Opera, and it actually works. It’s just Firefox that is chocking on all of that IE-specific .jsp goodness.

  • Wow, usually things don’t break *that* catastrophically across browsers. I’m actually impressed with their incompetence.

    Unfortunately, the reality is that a large number of Web designers/developers only test on IE — including a coworker of mine. He has started testing on Firefox now, but he really has no idea how to implement things in a cross-browser/platform way. I use Firefox as my primary browser, and you can bet my code gets tested on everything I have access to — but my programming experience has all been with that in mind. It’s almost a cultural thing.

    I like the way you call Firefox “modern,” meaning IE must be … well, something else.

  • Michael – the ‘modern’ thing is something I picked up from other usability zealots, usually as a way to differentiate from IE5.x and 6.

    As for cross-testing, I’ve found that BrowserCam offers a great service to see how your sites work in other browsers, although it can be kind of expensive for the freelancer ($40/month), especially if you aren’t doing a lot of new sites.

    As for the Wal-Mart thing, I too was amazed at how bad it broke, particularly when it worked fairly well in Opera.

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