Zoomii – Bringing Real Life to Amazon – Fail


Zoomii was a website that took the books on Amazon and turned them into a more real-life like display with shelf presence. The covers of each book was arranged in neat ‘shelves’ where you could pan to browse around just (almost) like when you’re in a real bookstore. This perhaps makes online book browsing somewhat more intuitive and leisurely, unlike in typical sites where book-browsing or searching is more like a task to complete rather than part of the joy.

One major flaw for me though, is when you attempted to search for particular genre or books (e.g. ‘Design’), Zoomii brought you a search list instead of zipping you (I’d imagine myself flying) across the shelves to the relevant section (and maybe with a librarian-sounding voice going “Here’re the books you’re looking for” – alright, maybe not the voice).

After all that hard work convincing the user they’re in a bookstore, with one user-search you were dragged right out of that illusion and back to the 2-D world – this did not make much sense to me.  I suppose that is why the web site is now history.

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