Today Amazon has launched a new storefront called WindowShop, which presents some of the store’s newest and most popular movies, books, and video games in a way that makes browsing the online megastore actually fun. Each product is displayed as a tile on a large grid, which users can pan across until they find something they’re interested in.
The site seems geared towards shoppers who are just looking for ideas, as there isn’t a search feature. Users can scroll through the site using their arrow keys, zooming in on individual products by hitting the spacebar. Each product includes a demo video (in the case of movies, songs, and video games) or an excerpt (from books).
The site seems to be an answer to more attractive online interfaces like iTunes, which encourage users to simply browse even when they don’t have something in mind. Amazon may sell just about everything under the sun, but the store’s massive inventory is also detriment as it can be overwhelming – unlike iTunes, I’ve never visited the store just to “look around”.
WindowShop is fun to play with, but the site should include some kind of navigation (for example, I should be able to look at just books). I realize that part of the fun comes from stumbling across random products, but at this point the site is more of a novelty than something I’d visit regularly.