Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to not do validation

Yesterday when I was trying to do some online shopping I the e-commerce system in use perfomed input validation in a slightly suboptimal way. Here is what happened:

  • To be able check out the stuff in my shopping basket I had to create an account.
  • To create an account I had to enter username, password and address.
  • Go to checkout
  • Confirm to use the just entered address as the shipping address
  • On the following page where the pay button should be there's this small note "The city is not long enough"  WTF!?!
  • Try again with the city name in the other language as it is longer
  • Same story "The city is not long enough" ...
  • Only when changing the primary address the order goes through

A validation rule stating that the city cannot be just three letters are just plain stupid, secondly if there is a need to use stupid validation rules, then do the validation when the data is entered and not when it is used ...

This comic comes to mind.

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