by Mike Masnick
Tue, Oct 28th 2008 5:17pm
Earlier this year, we talked about getting beyond the "webpage" metaphor when setting up online shopping experiences, and noted how Borders was testing a virtual bookshelf system that seemed more gimmicky than useful. Well, now it appears that Amazon has one-upped Borders by offering WindowShop, a 3D shopping experience... and once again I find myself underwhelmed. While it also has something of a shelf metaphor, it has some advantages in that clicking on any individual "product" can bring up audio, video and text about the product. However, it still feels rather gimmicky rather than useful. For years people have tried to create 3D browsing systems online and they never seem more useful than just straight webpages. In fact, in trying to replicate a 3D environment, it often feels like they're more limited than what a single webpage could do.
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