First impressions….not bad but not so good. The colours are nice and the search bar is nice and bold. However, visually I think it would benefit from some tidying. Bevel effects are a rather strange choice on today’s web and the various different uneven glows and strokes around the top bar elements jar a little.
Having said that it has now made all of the categories available from the homepage (ala amazon.com) and reiterated their recognition that (surely?) the majority of people head straight into a keyword search. However, I’m not a fan of the left-nav - a very simple improvement would be to make the main menu elements clickthrough to something. This is a real annoyance for me with these sorts of navigation - particularly evident where you hover over the ‘Books’ item and then have to move right to click…. ‘Books’ to proceed.
Still I guess it’s a tough job redesigning these sorts of elements under the gaze of millions of users and it’s hardly going to stop me buying lots of stuff from Amazon and appreciating all the awesome data widgets.
EDIT: Erm, I’ve been known to be rather slow before, has it been like this ages? Yup, it seems I am just very slow given there are blog posts about this from the beginning of last month.
EDIT 2: Ok, maybe I get it now - a surf around some other blogs and it seems this might be an international redesign also being trialled on Amazon.com that has been showing up intermittently for a while for various people. Which actually makes the issues I’ve mentioned more major if this has been decided upon as the future direction for (presumably) all of Amazon’s regional sites.