Amazon home page revamp?
Update: A commenter's Amazon page and my own have reverted to the older, much easier to read Amazon page for now. 3/27/12 [End of Update]
Update 2: It has double-reverted to the new all-white page. It probably loads faster, but my eyes wish for the old, visually pleasureable one. Also, I see the word 'paperback' found its way onto to the top of a page in an ad for a book. :-)
Irony: My Kindle Fire tablet shows the old beautiful page. [ End of update2]
Amazon has been trying out a new home page layout for, I think, a year or so, well before the Kindle Fire finally was announced, lending credence to the idea that they've been slowly optimizing the site for tablets (studies show tablet owners are heavy buyers) and also for its own tablet.
Some reported receiving the new layout for testing for quite some time, and news reports showed the 'new' pages that some customers were asked to try vs the older ones. In seeing those, I always preferred some blue or beige added rather than just the generic all-white background that they are all using now, to the disadavantage of eyes that are not comfortable with a glaringly white screen background (and it would cause me to shop less), but they all seem to imitate one another.
I personally dislike all white glaring at me. Once I got over that temporarily, I then missed the borders around things, so it has become more undifferentiated. Some will find it a 'cleaner' look and maybe it'll load faster on tablets. Haven't tried it on the Kindle Fire or my Samsung 10.1" yet. But this generic look they're all after (including Google's pale new pages they're asking us to try) is something we apparently can't avoid. If nothing else, it is entirely devoid of imagination or character in my narrower view of things, but I'm sure they have their reasons. I hope they're good ones.
However, after that grumble, I the noticed that in the lead headings they use, that I've extracted and put as a lead image for this posting, we see the first item is "Instant Video."
That screams tablets or TV (Roku and other box-helpers) to me. Then comes "MP3 Store" and "Cloud Player" - two media-heavy features. Then we come to "Kindle" -- I don't know what people who don't own Kindles see though.
Do they see "Books" as a starter? My only hardcover books are generally 3rd-party or 'marketplace' vendors for special non-fiction. Is that why I'm not seeing those highlighted? Didn't Amazon start out as as book store? On the other hand, "DRESS SHOP" is in huge letters right under the Kindle Fire ad at the top, and I have not bought one article of clothing from Amazon, so that's not based on my buying or even viewing history.
Going all the way down the page, I didn't find regular, non-Kindle books.
Obviously, I found this curious and began looking for them and finally found them under the heading "Shop by Department" with the little black arrow-down icon next to it. This doesn't have the older-fashioned pull-down or pop-down menu so it never occurred to me to click it to see what was there, as it just looked like plain Text to me.
But I finally saw it and had my mouse hover over it, to see a two-panel pop-up box that leads off with the headings we already see at the top.
UNDER that, we finally see "Books", then "Movies, Music & Games" -- these three already being covered under the visible header and then heading the first set of listings under this pop-up menu.
So, I'd say Books, as in print books, are now de-emphasized, at least for my viewing. It well may be that "Books" are the first thing people see when they are generally hardcover or paperback buyers and have shown no interest in Kindles.
I've no way of knowing but hope to find that some people are seeing "Books" as important, visibly, on the main page, or the Big6 publishers will get even more paranoid about what The Author Guild's alarmist president today is calling "the Darth Vader of the literary world." That man is such a drama queen. BUT, he may be right in that hardcover and paperback books are being made invisible on Amazon's main page to people like me, at least. If this is targeted rather than general, it's probably good marketing. If everyone is getting this de-emphasis, Amazon is sending a message.
Hovering down the first set of listings, we then see the sub-pages for them, which is why they'd be shown again at the top.
But what's clear is that they are all Amazon media that is first and foremost available on the Kindle tablet and of course on our computers if we are multimedia focused, which I am, and maybe that's why I'm seeing them as the emphasis on my new white-white main page. Why is the web world turning so vanilla?
About halfway down, I see "Inspired by Your Browsing History" -- so maybe the top material IS for most customers. I'll be interested to know if some of you are getting a different main page. While most reading here may have Kindles, I'd say a good number of visitors are only thinking of getting a Kindle, so if that's the case, maybe their main pages are different.
Nothing of grand importance, probably, but the new page and the invisibility of the word "Books" without "Kindle" attached to them startled me.
Kindle Touch 3G, US-only Kindle Touch WiFi (US) Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US
Kindle Keybd 3G (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G) K3 Special Offers K3-3G Special Offers DX
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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