I came across a rather interesting site called “What Should I Get?“ (note site is now no longer available). What it basically does is – give you a single recommendation in a particular product category. For example, you’re in the market looking for a pair of earphones. But just which one? This site simply states that the one to get is the Sony MDR-EX51LP (with a picture accompanying that recommendation).
In their own words,
We are not a shopping search engine. They return too many results to sift through and deal with. We are not a product comparison page. They take too long to navigate through and interpreting the results is too difficult.
We are not a review site. There are tons of them out there. They take a really long time to sift through and read. Reviews are often outdated and go into much more detail than you care about. Sometimes the product comparison charts are so big they don’t fit on the screen!
We do one thing and we do it well. We just tell you what to get.
Products are really a dime a dozen nowadays. Too many of them, in fact. If you want to buy a cellphone, there’s at least 50 choices from a single manufacturer alone. As a industrial designer who dabbles with consumer products day in and out, I’m already finding it difficult to keep up with the developments of new technologies, models, etc. Like they say, review site sometimes give too much, and makes it even harder to make a decision.
In a way, this site reminds me of Google. When every review site out there aims to feature more comprehensive reviews, indexing more products, this site realizes that when people surf review sites, they are likely to want to make a purchase. The site attempts to maintain a simple path, cut through the cheese and bring them straight to the purchase (they link to the Amazon purchase site directly from their recommendation – and earn clickthrough commission – although they are not endorsed by any manufacturers/brands).
I think a site like this has great potential. While Yahoo! overwhelemed users with features and information, Google undercut Yahoo! by removing all the clutter and leading the user straight to the one thing it does best – search.
I am, however, rather peeved with the way it tries to manipulate users into clicking the Google Adsense ads, which masquerades as content proper. Sure, a site needs bandwidth, and those cost money. Deceiving the users into clicking ads may give some easy income, but it definitely does not project the honest, sincere and neutral image that this site should have.