Web 0.2



  • I have a Jeep. On a Jeep forum I check out once in a while, someone posted a photo of a bull bar that I thought looked pretty nice. The OP didn't post a link to a product page, but he did post the manufacturer name, so I googled it and came across this site: http://www.blackhorseoffroad.com/home/index.php/ Granted the '/' after the .php on the page I was redirected to is a little unusual (I think, but what do I know, I'm only a .net dev), but otherwise it looks like a fairly decent site.



    The exact bull bar I was interested in is the first 'slide' in their rotating spot at the top of the site, but before I can click the 'Product Details' button, it changes to the next slide. No problem, I can just use the 'QUICK BROWSER' feature at the bottom left of the slides that the site has so conveniently labeled for me to get back to the slide of interest... except, the 'QUICK BROWSER' feature turns out to just be a static image that does absolutely nothing.



    Fine, not a big deal. I wait for the spot to come around again and make sure I click PRODUCT DETAILS before it can change again. Now I am taken to this page: (http://www.blackhorseoffroad.com/home/index.php/front-protection/bull-bars-skid-plate/11-12-jeep-grand-cherokee-3-bull-bar-w-skid-plate.html)... again, maybe I am not just familiar with php, but now we have index.php followed by a bunch more directories ending with an html page, which to me seems a little strange. Whatever. I now see the two products available, a Black Bull Bar and a Stainless Steel Bull Bar. The price column is blank. There is a QTY column after price, so maybe if I enter the quantity I want (since rarely does anyone buy only one bull bar at a time) and click the add to cart button I will be able to see the price? I type in the qty and go to hit the button, but wait... no submit button to be found anywhere on the page. Hitting Enter doesn't do anything either.



    I read through the rest of the page, but apparently instructions here are N/A. No tooltips to be found... but wait! near the top, there's gray text on a black background stating 'PLEASE LOG IN TO SEE THE PRICING. TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT, GO HERE.'. Ok, this is retarded and in 99% of cases I would leave right then, but I really like this bull bar, and stuff like this for my model year is hard to come by. If I have to give a throwaway email address to see the price, so be it.



    I'm now brought to this page: http://www.blackhorseoffroad.com/home/index.php/customer/account/login/ A third variety of a url, this time still keeping the index.php but not the .html file. I start filling in the first form fields I see, but the second one is password... considering I don't have a password, I look up, and realize I am filling out the login fields. Ok, I clicked the 'Go here to create an account link', but I guess that's understandable if it takes me to a login page. So I start looking for a link to the registration form. Oh, 'NEW CUSTOMERS', this must be it! Let me just click the button here... oh wait, what does it say? Download a form here???

    By opening an account with our website, you will be able to see the prices and receive the latest news from us. You can request to open an account by filling out the form and sending it to saleshelp@xanatosautomotive.com. Thank you.

    Ok, at this point I've given up, but I'm curious, what will the form be? a Pdf? Doc? So I click it... oh, a zip file named Application.zip, containing more than one form! In fact, it contains: COVER LETTER 1.doc, Credit Application 1.doc, New Return Policy As Of July 28,2008.doc, Personal Guaranteee 1.doc (it's not only a guarantee, its a guaranteee!), and Xanatos CreditAuthorization.doc. Fuck.



    Now from the cover letter it seems like they are marketing more towards resellers, so maybe I was just being an idiot and not realizing this. However, all over their site they're advertising products "custom designed to fit each individual vehicle perfectly", and "products manufactured with the highest standard to fit all of your aftermarket needs"... so at least from the rest of the site, it really looks like this is a b2c and not a b2b.



    On the bright side, at least we've moved past the wooden table.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @bullrider718 said:


    However, all over their site they're advertising products "custom designed to fit each individual vehicle perfectly", and "products manufactured with the highest standard to fit all of your aftermarket needs"
    Standard offroad manufacturer boilerplate. They don't mean fitting the part exactly to YOUR truck, they meanbuilding a specific part for a specific factory model - this contrary to the traditional offroad approach of "Here's your part. Get our your welder and make it fit."

    Incidentally, go make friends with a guy that does metalwork. You'll pay less for him to bend and weld you a grille guard than most anything you'll find from a factory. That is, if you're actually concerned with offroad performance and durability rather than just looking manly.



  • @bullrider718 said:

    Granted the '/' after the .php on the page I was redirected to is a little unusual (I think, but what do I know, I'm only a .net dev)
     

    @bullrider718 said:

    again, maybe I am not just familiar with php,
    but now we have index.php followed by a bunch more directories ending
    with an html page, which to me seems a little strange.

    Not really that strange, it's fairly common on some CMSs where people don't know about mod_rewrite (Joomla, for example). It just calls the /index.php with $_SERVER['PATH_INFO'] set. Better than /index.php?page=/something for SEO etc.

    @bullrider718 said:

    On the bright side, at least we've moved past the wooden table.

     Disappointed that they didn't force you to fax!



  • @Zemm said:

     Disappointed that they didn't force you to fax!

    On the bright side, if you do read the cover letter, you have the option to "print/type" to complete the form, so I'm assuming if there is "printing" involved, scanning the form must at least be allowed... bonus points if you scan a picture of the completed form!



  • Look on the bright side. Their new user registration process is fairly well protected against SQL injection.



  • @Weng said:

    That is, if you're actually concerned with offroad performance and durability rather than just looking manly.

    The real story is I had a disagreement with a garage door a few months back (a wtf for another day) that ended up with about $600 worth of my paint transferring to the garage door. my actual train of thought was "oh, this covers up the evidence from that fateful day perfectly, I wonder if it costs less than $600!"



    I'm only a year out of college, and as much as I'd like to get off road, that still seems a few more pay raises away... the included skid plate is a start though, right??



  • There is this big telco that also offers TV, mobile, internet, etc. They have a hugely dynamic website; there is no static navigation, the workflow is updated each time the client moves around the site in order to maximize the chances that the client will buy something. As an example, if you check the tv stuff, when you switch to the phone stuff the top links in the menu are about tv. The featured bundles are based on previous navigation. Even the type of browser has an impact on the workflow. The website is running on Weblogic, and the individual session size is about... 4MB.

    I know a guy whose team of 10 devs worked for months on the small workflow starting at the moment a client selects a product and add options, until it ends up in the shopping cart. And they were no cheap staff, all experienced, J2EE gurus, BEA certified and whatnot. Major leagues. Price tag for this website: 35 millions.

    So this website is awesome, it is almost magic. After completing the checkout, the user goes back to his life, confident that his order is already being processed. Well that's almost the case... what actually happened after the checkout is that a description of the order has been sent BY EMAIL to someone in a call center who punches the order manually into the system just as if it had been received by phone.

    I don't know which Web version that is, but this is definitely a n-tier architecture.

     



  • @thistooshallpass said:

    There is this big telco that also offers TV, mobile, internet, etc. They have a hugely dynamic website; there is no static navigation, the workflow is updated each time the client moves around the site in order to maximize the chances that the client will buy something. As an example, if you check the tv stuff, when you switch to the phone stuff the top links in the menu are about tv. The featured bundles are based on previous navigation. Even the type of browser has an impact on the workflow. The website is running on Weblogic, and the individual session size is about... 4MB.

    I know a guy whose team of 10 devs worked for months on the small workflow starting at the moment a client selects a product and add options, until it ends up in the shopping cart. And they were no cheap staff, all experienced, J2EE gurus, BEA certified and whatnot. Major leagues. Price tag for this website: 35 millions.

    So this website is awesome, it is almost magic. After completing the checkout, the user goes back to his life, confident that his order is already being processed. Well that's almost the case... what actually happened after the checkout is that a description of the order has been sent BY EMAIL to someone in a call center who punches the order manually into the system just as if it had been received by phone.

    I don't know which Web version that is, but this is definitely a in-tears architecture.

     

    FTFY



  • I tried logging in with no username or password entered and got this:

    Magento error

    Same error when I try to go to the "create account" page.


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