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Incident Report: PetSmart

Category:web pageDate of Incident:2003.11.27
Company:PetSmartHome Page:
OS:Win XPBrowser:IE5


PetSmart is one of the two major nationwide pet supply stores (the other being Petco).


It is unusual--well, perhaps I should say it is less usual--for a piece of software, or a web page, to be designed inconsistently. Software architects typically take great care to create a cohesive whole, when possible. Inconsistency typically stems from two sources, either unanticipated data, or from the dreaded "M" word--maintenance. The form of this dichotomy indicates to me that this inconsistency was caused by improperly scoped maintenance (rather than an instance of unanticipated data--see the Legg Mason article). The most familiar form of maintenance is an upgrade, but maintenance does not necessarily entail new features or functionality and, in fact, may be transparent to the users. In general, though, maintenance typically focuses on one piece, not necessarily considering the ramifications on other pieces.

conflicting information
Scenario problems:

In the illustration, you will observe the page heading indicating future events, while the sub-heading indicates past events. (Incidentally, the sub-heading was correct at the time I viewed the web page, since the events listed were in the past relative to my time frame.)

In a Nutshell:

Simply the case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

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