We rolled out a number of useful updates last week, including a series of user suggested tweaks, features, and bug fixes. Yeah! These features are intended to make using the site easier. They’re polish. But polish can make a lot of difference in how a site feels, and how easy it is to use. More polish will come, of course, but for now some of the feature include:
- The Add to Reading List feature. You can put away those easy-to-lose notepads, because with one click you can now add any suggested book to a digital reading list right on BookLamp (shows up in the upper right corner when you click, “Add to Reading List”). Once we turn on user accounts, you’ll be able to save those lists between browsing sessions, but for now these will help you avoid the “found a book, but lost it because I didn’t want to stop browsing” issue we’ve heard about.
- Descriptions now appear when you “hover” over a book cover on suggestion pages. Just float your mouse cursor over a book cover to see its summary. Clicking still pulls up the full description.
- Book covers now show up in your browse results. This says what it means. Before, browsing just showed StoryDNA and text descriptions. Now, you see book covers, too. Pretty.
- Genre filters now show counts, and only display genres that there are present in the suggestions. This means that you know how many Fantasy books are showing up in the suggestion results, compared to Romance, for example, and that if you take out Romance, you’ll lose 5 books instead of 20. Useful for fans of the filter features. I’m one of those.
- Improved search bar. Looks better, feels better.
- Pressing “enter” on search bar now returns a results page with possible matches to your query. Before, people complained that they didn’t like that you had to click a book title from the drop down in order to go somewhere. Now, hitting enter does the trick, which people seem to find more intuitive. Clicking a book in the drop down still takes you directly to that book’s suggestions.
- New layout for browse by Author / Genre / StoryDNA. Before, we had two different search results and browse pages. Now, they use the same layout and all have book covers in the search results. Yeah!
- Browse by author now has columned layout to make better use of space, and has a form of sub-clustering instead of page numbers, allowing you to browse to subsections by author’s second and third letters, and so forth.
- Numerous look-and-feel tweaks, like the removal of the arrows in suggestion page (which people found confusing and were generally useless), change to some colors, and other various little changes that you’ll probably not notice, but will hopefully enjoy on a subconscious level.
- A large number of under the hood changes our mysterious programmers made that all go on below the conscious level at the foundations of the universe. This means that the universe itself is now slightly more organized and beautiful than it was before. Thank you, BookLamp programmers. Thank you.
I trust you will find something among these changes to suit your appetite until the next round of updates. But make room, because we haven’t even told you about dessert. The real feature sets and content updates will be rolling out soon enough. Our founder is in New York right now bouncing from publishing house to publishing house, followed by a trip to Silicon Valley, Stanford University, and Chicago.
Things are moving quickly for us. We can’t wait to tell you more.
Until next time,
- He Who Listens to Those That Talk (yes, that’s really my job title)