New Google Chrome Web Store
Some people have associated the new design with Microsoft’s Metro UI for Windows 8 but to be honest, I don’t see how it looks like Metro.
Metro uses squares for the default icons and the live tiles uses rectangle about twice the size of the regular square icon; the new Google Web Store uses rectangular images for regular apps and apps with larger promo image uses rectangular images about 4x the size of the regular image. Apps with larger promotion images also comes with screenshots. It appears after you hover and click the arrows at the edge of the app’s promo image. You can also click on “Add To Chrome” for a one-click install. Metro isn’t like that.
The new Google Chrome Web Store looks closer to a WordPress magazine theme with post type style optimized for touch, and to some extent looks like Flipboard for apps.
The new Web Store comes with infinite scrolling and more accessible options for language, location and list of all apps that you have installed before, including the ones that you uninstalled.
Gone are the “new and noteworthy”, “staff picks” and “featured” apps category. It seems that the home page of Google Web Store are showing featured apps or staff picks, while Popular apps are now all lumped together instead of sub-divided in categories. Collections are still there and look better.
There are two things that bother me: search and user reviews. Now it seems that there is no way to put an anonymous comment anymore.
Search is inaccurate. Even if Google is very good in search engine, searching applications in the new web store is awfully difficult. Try to search for “Twitter” and you will get many unrelated results.
And then the user reviews. It seems that you will need a Google account before you can create a comment or a review on any application. Therefore, no more anonymous comment and if you don’t have a Google account, you have to create one first before you can add an app review.
Overall the design is okay. It seems that the new Web Store is positioned to be more user-friendly for tablets and because it looks like a magazine for apps, big promotional image is the best way to capture the attention of users to install apps. There are some issues on app discovery and search so let’s hope that Google will improve search features and make it more accurate.