Publishing noob

Notes and observations from the world of book publishing

Amazon usability woes

I did some shopping again at the Amazon website and once again I was facing some major and minor usability flaws. I mostly get my books from elsewhere so there might be something between six months to a year between visits. I always secretly hope that they would improve meanwhile, but no.

My biggest complain is the clutter in the layout. For example look at the Books category page. Amazon is probably lying more on brand and all the long time customers know from their heart where all the relevant stuff is, but for a casual visitor like me, it’s very confusing. There a hundreds of links and around twenty or thirty buttons scattered all around.

Generic product category pages. I was trying to check if I could find a proper reading lamp to the bedroom while I was at it. But the Lamps & Fixtures section was so tedious to navigate, so I finally gave up. I pretty much knew what I was looking for, but could not effectively use the search & filtering functions provided.

Non-SEO optimized URLs. Here is the link to the e-book version of The Hunger Games, I think this is kind of self-explanatory.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hunger-Games-ebook/dp/B002MQYOFW/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1321984314&sr=1-2

Plain text only confirmation emails. The order confirmation emails are boring looking, messy looking and is way too long. Where is the “track your order here” link? Why not make it visually appealing and use it for up and cross-sell?

Maybe I have been harsh on the big boy, because there are some things I actually like. But that is an another topic.

 

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