Sunday, 23 October, 2005
Fighting with Amazon
I just spent a very frustrating 10 minutes fighting with Amazon's Web site. I don't use Amazon very often, which might be part of the problem. Still, I'm no dummy (at least, I don't think I am), and when a Web site is difficult for me to figure out I often wonder how less computer-savvy people manage to navigate it. Amazon's programmers and Web designers need to delete their cookies and try operating the site without cookies enabled, or with expired cookies. Or am I the only person in the world who doesn't somehow have his computer automatically log in to Amazon at startup?
Amazon.com is a great site for finding and buying all kinds of things. But their site is horribly difficult to navigate. Sometimes if I click on "Add to Cart," the resulting screen shows my cart and supplies a button that will let me return to the item or list of items I was viewing. Other times, not. Same with the one-click ordering: sometimes I can get back to where I was and sometimes I have to search again to build the list. The pages are filled with so many order buttons, add to cart, one-click order, buy new and used, recommended items, specials, and everything else that I'm overwhelmed. All I wanted was a repair manual for my truck! I didn't need to fight through the promotions, ads, recommendations, and assorted other trash just to find that the wrong item ended up in my cart. I finally had to close my browser and start over. Amazon and I just weren't getting along in that browser session.
Buying from Amazon.com is like walking into a bookstore looking for a specific item or items, and being continually interrupted by salespeople who jump into your path and scream "Look! Buy this now!" while gesturing wildly with a book that's peripherally related to something I bought in the store five years ago. Maybe I'll start shopping at Barnes & Noble's online site.