When selling changing products, filters have to be continually reviewed – BestBuy.com example

The other day I was looking for a new laptop computer on BestBuy.com and I have to say with all the features on a laptop computer, this is one of those tougher filter opportunities for companies to present the choices.

If you look at the basic purpose of the filter, it is to allow a user to filter the results displayed on screen to be exactly or as close to what they desire to see. In terms of ecommerce web store fronts, this ability to give the customer what they are looking for, can make or break a sale.

Now if you look at the complexities of computer purchase, this can get into a very difficult situation. There is a reason why people can get a degree in being a librarian. Content Taxonomy is dedicated to providing content in a way that users can find what they are looking for. In this case, the Content Taxonomists have to consider the filter terms for each possible variation in a computer, the Tech guys have to build a system that can cope with all the filters applied and the UX guys have to find room on the screen to display the choices.

Overall I think BestBuy.com does a great job with a Laptop search however there are some opportunities for improvement.

I am going to use an example of what I found when looking on BestBuy.com for a Laptop and what additional filters could be added:

1 – Ability to select SSD instead of standard disks since Solid State Drives are becoming more common.

2 – Battery life expectancy – since some laptops will put in 8+ hours but others will not even be close

3 – Weight for ultraportable is set to one value (around 5.4 lbs) even though laptops can be almost 1/2 this weight today

4 – Graphic Card MB is important but not an option to filter by

The above is just some samples of how product changes can render an existing filter list short of choices. BestBuy.com has done a good job at staying with the trends “Touch Screen”; “Blu-ray player” to name just a few filters they have added as products change.

A company that is selling changing technology has to continually review their products to see if new filters will need to be created and old filters removed to maintain a strong ecommerce shopping experience.


Why Microsoft Windows 8.1 will create more Apple Customers

May 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General News 

Microsoft has jumped on the App bandwagon with Windows 8 but at the same time successfully drives users up the wall.

If you are yet to try adding applications to a Windows 8 device but are familiar with the Apple process all I can say is stick with Apple. Microsoft application store “Sucks” with a capital S and the stability of Windows 8 post logoff after trying to add applications is back to the days of Windows ME.
Just do a search on “Please Wait” or “Pending download” and you will see what I mean.

Unlike Apple which asks you to enter your userid/pwd to get your applications, Microsoft has tried hard to get the user to login to both their computer and to the store at the same time creating a terminal always between you and Microsoft. They do this by forcing you to replace your local ID with a Microsoft store ID.

Never have I seen Microsoft miss the mark as badly as they have done this time. This truly is the Crap from Hell when it comes to productivity. There is nothing redeeming to justify this nuclear wasteland of failure.

In my recent attempts to add applications to my windows 8.1 laptop via the Microsoft App Store I have had the joy of seeing the computer spend more time doing nothing with a nice “Please Wait” or a “Pending” download than actually doing work.
The Blue screen of death has basically been replaced by a “Blue Screen Please Wait”. Worse still is that it can actually prevent you from being able to log back into the machine making for an expensive doorstop.

There is nothing desirable enough about Windows 8.1 that justifies the user torture that this software brings to the masses.

Save your soul and stick with Apple or change over to Apple. After all money can’t buy time and Windows 8.1 is a death beetle when it comes to the time it can suck out of you.

Let us all hope that Windows 9 will save the PC market.

DollarPhotoClub.com why the grocery store image purchase approach works for me

May 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General News, UX / UI 

If you write for a living eventually you will need to get pictures to post with your content.

For several years know I have created the images I used but due to change in circumstances I needed to locate a supplier that could provide me with royalty free images. If you have ever looked into this, you will understand how complicated it can be:

1 – Images having different licensing restrictions.

2 – Cost variation between images.

3 – User interface to get images over complex.

www.DollarPhotoClub.com rose to the top of my choices and here are the reasons why:

1 – Business model is simple to understand. Each photo costs a dollar to use and follows the same license agreement with certain provisions on how the image is used.

2 – User interface is simple and straight forward. I paid my annual fee, searched for the images required and then downloaded those I could use.

3 – Decent selection of images for my needs and I could verify that before I even paid for membership.


What are the cons then of this service?

1 – Minimum membership is either $10 a month or $99 a year at time of writing. For a person only needing a couple of images, that is an expensive option.

2 – I can save image choice to a gallery that I create on the web site but I cannot save an image choice to another gallery for cross reference. This becomes a problem if you are trying to categorize images across two different definitions.

3 – The image search is decent but dependent on user supplied image tags. I don’t see the tags at this time as being computer generated meaning if a Tag is not added, then the image may not be found by your search.

On the whole, the service works for me and I look forward to working with their images over the next 12 months of my membership.