Last night I picked up my K2 to read before going to bed. I planned to download some random free SF ebook and read it.
Boy, was that a mistake. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out which ebooks were free before giving up.
The ebookstore on the Kindle is crap. It is so lacking in basic features you'd expect from a retail website that I think you could hire a college student to do a better job. Heck, I know of at least one high school student who could have written a better website.
You cannot sort the ebookstore based on price, nor can you sort by title, author, or any other metadata. That boggles the mind. doesn't it? What's worse is that you can't change the the amount of book details shown on screen (nor does it show you the price).
The screen real estate is quite limited on the Kindle, so I'd expect that it would offer options to show you the most data in the least amount of space. But it doesn't.
It would be difficult to list the features I want; it's missing so many that I cannot possibly think of them all. But do you know the really weird part?
Amazon has been using this ebookstore design for nearly 4 years now. In all that time they've never upgraded it to include the basic features of a retail website. This is a tech company that is supposed to be a retail genius, and yet this managed to slip by them for 4 years. I wonder if they ever actually bothered to test it?
This is the first time I ever really used the ebookstore on the Kindle (I prefer the website), and I noticed the problems right away. They're blindingly obvious to even a half competent developer (or at least they should be). So what does this tell us about Amazon?
They are supposed to be one of the leading companies in this niche, and they are supposed to be one of the major tech companies in the world. But they built and used a crappy ebookstore for nearly 4 years without doing basic usability testing. Look at that ebookstore again, and ask yourself if they are as smart as they think they are.
I'm beginning to think it's just hype.