Though it may not always be obvious, we’re always working on the site. Most of the changes we make aren’t immediately visible to users (for example, improvements to data quality, search algorithms, infrastructure), but some changes are readily apparent.
We’re delighted to introduce two major improvements to BookFinder.com: support for shipping prices, and a de-cluttered appearance.
On our search form, we’ve added a new pulldown menu for indicating destination. All regular BookFinder.com search results will now show prices which include the cost of standard shipping to the destination of your choice. This gives users the option of comparing postpaid prices for the books they want, rather than comparing only the base prices, without regard to potential shipping costs.
We believe most users would rather buy a near-fine $20 book with a $3 shipping charge than a good-condition $15 book with a $10 shipping charge. By comparing the real prices ($23 vs. $25, rather than $20 vs. $15), it becomes immediately clear that the near-fine book is actually a better buy (at an 8% discount) than the good-condition book. In our tests, we’ve found that comparing postpaid prices can in some cases save users up to 45%.
We’ve made it really easy to disable this feature: just click on the “Show prices without shipping” link at the top of your search results, and the results will be sorted by the base price. If you have cookies enabled, we will remember your display preferences.
We’ve also long wanted to do some work on our interface, to enhance readability, reduce clutter, add whitespace, and modernize our templates. Charlie and I brought in two web designers to help us get new ideas; we took their best suggestions, and spent the next several weeks bickering over site design (pondering pixels, contesting copy, scrutinizing screens…). We hope you like the changes. We’ll probably be making some tweaks over the coming weeks to tighten up the design.
We always try to be certain that the changes we make to BookFinder.com will be compatible with as many browsers as possible. The site should work very well in virtually all post-2003 web browsers; we’ve tested it on Win/IE5 and Win/IE6, Mac/Win IE5, Firefox and other Gecko-based browsers (Mozilla, Camino), Safari 1 and 2, and Opera 7. The site also looks great in Links, my favorite text-based web browser. The site should also be pretty usable in older browsers like Netscape 4 and Lynx.
Try the site out for a few days, and let us know what you think. If you think you’ve discovered a bug, please contact us immediately — your tips can help us make the site better.
Thank you.Posted by Anirvan