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Don’t assume the user has Javascript enabled…
 
howellnick
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Many problems I have found…

This page for instance:
http://demo.magentocommerce.com/catalog/category/view/s/laptops/id/15/
- Drop down menus don’t work (why is this Javascript? this can be done with CSS alone)
- Add to Cart buttons are useless (the user has to go to the product description page to add it to their cart.  again more javascript...Just use a regular form or a styled “a href=”.)
- “Checkout” in the My Cart box is useless (same as last. The user must instead use the “Checkout” below the search bar.)
- Can’t vote in the community poll (same again)

A product page:
http://demo.magentocommerce.com/catalog/product/view/s/apple-macbook-pro-ma464ll-a-
15-4-notebook-pc-2-0-ghz-intel-core-duo-1-gb-ram-100-gb-hard-drive-superdrive/id/25/category/15/
- The image zoomer is useless and because of that the user doesn’t see the overall image. Specifically on this page the user can only see the very upper left of the image.

Checkout page:
http://demo.magentocommerce.com/checkout/
- The entire page is rendered useless
(If javascript is disabled this page should default to a multi page checkout)

That is all I noticed for now. I hope there isn’t much more..

Javascript should make the user experience better but you should always assume the user has it turned off. Build Javascript functionality over the basic functionality, not vice versa.

 
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Skew
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The type and amount of people with it disabled are not significant in ecommerce…

 
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iblastoff
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if you dont want to use javascript then you can edit the checkout process code yourself. its configurable. the only issue is that the one-page checkout (which definitely requires js) would probably not work if you wanted that feature.

 
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swguy
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Skew - 01 September 2007 08:11 AM

The type and amount of people with it disabled are not significant in ecommerce…

On what basis do you make this claim?  I often see numbers in the 20-30% range when looking at analytics stats on Zen Cart shops.  Obviously the demographic is going to skew this number up or down, but you can’t claim it’s not significant.

I concur with FrenchToast - it’s harmful to assume JS is turned on.

Scott

 
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iblastoff
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i think its pretty safe to say that if someone doesn’t even have javascript capabilities (or for some paranoiac reason they have it turned off), then i highly doubt they’re shopping online in the first place anyway.

 
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Jonathan Hedrén
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I think that the biggest problems without a non-js checkout process could occur when making a B2B solution. I’ve been working with major companies that force their employees to turn javascript off and/or restrict them to use a specific browser (like IE6). I personally think that’s a reason enough to make the javascripts fall back. Javascript is there to enhance the interface, not to block users.

 
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Scott
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Regarding UI Design, one should never assume that even the majority of people have JS enabled. My practice is to always incorporate js after I have the app working the way I want as a degraded application (no js) yet build it flexibly enough so that js can be inserted fairly easily, again to enhance the interface. I tend to think that anything else is just an excuse to be lazy rasberry

 
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i960
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I see no reason why javascript should ever be required in order to simply use the site.  While javascript is great for enhancing the interface, it should never be used when that same functionality can be provided by other means.  Some of the examples listed are extremely simple to do with just HTML/CSS, so I’m curious as to why javascript was used at all.  So far this is my only beef with Magento.  Otherwise it’s looking to be a fantastic shopping cart.  I really would like to see the developers make Magento degrade gracefully when javascript is disabled.  If not I’ll end up doing it myself anyway as I find this to be very important, but I’d like to think that the Magento developers are much better programmers than I and they obviously know the code a lot better.

 
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SeanCulver
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iblastoff - 01 September 2007 08:47 AM

if you dont want to use javascript then you can edit the checkout process code yourself. its configurable. the only issue is that the one-page checkout (which definitely requires js) would probably not work if you wanted that feature.

Look at the roadmap.

“Non-JS Checkout” is listed as a point for the production version. although, your right I doubt it will be a one page checkout.

Sean

 
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pdc
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Skew - 01 September 2007 08:11 AM

The type and amount of people with it disabled are not significant in ecommerce…

perhaps but people with disabilities especially blind people do almost all their shopping online. They are great customers! They are not paranoid but js can interfere with screen readers.

As a rule javascript / ajax functionalities should be enhancements not barriers.

 
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Matt Webster
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pdc - 29 January 2008 09:22 AM

Skew - 01 September 2007 08:11 AM
The type and amount of people with it disabled are not significant in ecommerce…

perhaps but people with disabilities especially blind people do almost all their shopping online. They are great customers! They are not paranoid but js can interfere with screen readers.

As a rule javascript / ajax functionalities should be enhancements not barriers.

I have this problem!!!!!!!!!  my boss is blind and absolutely hates the checkout.  I need a multipage checkout and am trying to see if I can attempt hacking one.

Any help - please let me know.

 
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Nick Rigby
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The JavaScript integration is the worst thing about Magento, in my opinion. I’m trying (painfully) to remove as much of the JavaScript dependencies as possible, but it’s so heavily integrated, it’s very difficult. Like many others have said above, JavaScript should be used to provide enhancements to the user experience, and there should always be fallbacks in place for when javaScript is not available.

 
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ModifyMage
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I’m gonna bump this. It needs to be fixed, especially for core functionality like add to cart and checkout. If your business sells primarily to other businesses and universities (it’s unbelievable how many universities disable javascript), this is an absolute killer. The percentage of users unable to order through a Magento site in this case is much higher than the 4% - 6% quoted (and alienating 4% - 6% of your potential customer base is bad enough). This is a major drawback to Magento, in many, many cases, a fatal flaw.

 
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watershed
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Hear hear, Spheric.

 
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tyrion
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Vote for the feature too!

 
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Nick Rigby
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I’ve taken the measure of actually turning off the site (showing a message) when the user has JavaScript disabled. I wrote a wiki article on how to do this here:

http://www.magentocommerce.com/wiki/display_a_message_for_users_with_javascript_disabled

It’s a shame to have to take such drastic measures, but because JavaScript is so heavily integrated, I think it is more frustrating for a user to be able to get so far and then not be able to checkout because of the JavaScript reliant one page checkout. Obviously in an ideal world, the core functions of the site would still be possible without JavaScript, but Magento is not built like that (unfortunately) so until I untangle the JavaScript dependencies myself (which is a HUGE job) or Varien do it, I think this method of hiding the site and showing a message is not a bad way to go.

 
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