Developers Fail Logic, Grantwood Village Residents

The developers of the Circuit City store locator fail logic.

Here’s the situation.  You’re a user in tiny Grantwood Village, a mostly forgotten municipality in St. Louis County, Missouri, who wants to go to Circuit City because….well, okay, maybe it is an outrageous use case, but it fails:

  1. Go to the Circuit City home page.
  2. Click the Store Locator link at top.
  3. Store Locator displays:
    Another broken store locator
    In the City edit box, type grantwood village.
  4. From the State drop-down list, select Missouri.
  5. Click Find.
  6. Uh oh.  According to Circuit City, Grantwood Village does not exist:Grantwood Village, although small, is not invalid.
    Much to the chagrin of Grantwood Village.Well, then, type the zip code of Lakeshire, Missouri (63121) into the Zip code edit box.  Funny, though, Lakeshire is even smaller than Grantwood Village, as it’s essentially a small subdivision with a post office.
  7. Click Find again.
  8. The application acts as though the zip code is invalid:
    The zip code is valid, the application is not.

This occurs whether you click the Find button underneath the Zip code edit box or underneath the City/State combination.  Don’t get me started about the design wisdom of putting two controls on a form that do the same thing.  You cannot convince me of its utility, and I disbelieve in your value of symmetry.

In this form, if the application detects a value in the latter, it ignores the former, period.  So it does sort of handle Or (you need to enter something in one or the other), it does not handle both (And) correctly.  Even though someone will probably encounter the situation of entering data in both forms.

And, when you’re feeling particularly nasty (which is to say, every day of the week), remember to try 87894.  This is an invalid zip code, and if your application doesn’t handle nonexistent zip codes (not merely strings that are not five numbers) or relies on a Web service call or whatnot to an application that does not handle nonexistent zip codes, hilarity ensues.

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