Nelson's log

Rant: why is the Chrome Web Store so awful?

I accept that Google has locked down Chrome extensions and made them hard to install from anywhere other than their own store. Security issue (also, vendor lock-in). But why does the store have to be so awful?

The thing I want, the extension I clicked on, is there. In the middle in a 980×700 box. That is the web page I requested. Why is it locked inside a tiny frame with some slightly faded out ugly set of icons beneath it?

Why is the URL for the extension cepmakjlanepojocakadfpohnhhalfol instead of some human readable name?

Why is the 980×700 box so badly laid out? The top gutter is too small compared to the left and right gutters, and there’s no bottom gutter at all, just more ads for other products I don’t want. And so much of the box is given over to a screenshot. I appreciate wanting to demo the wares, but often screenshots are not the best way to understand what a Chrome extension does. There’s so little room left for the text! And screenshots can be so visually noisy they look hideous embedded in the rest of the tiny box inside the app store page, like this one.

The navigation is also funky; clicking tabs like “reviews’ does some Web 2.1 trick where the content and URL change but the page doesn’t actually navigate. This part works reasonably well, it’s certainly faster than reloads, but it reinforces how this thing is not really a web page but a bad app trapped inside a browser, on top of a blurred out version of a store I do not want to shop at.

In the long long ago the Chrome app store had a much nicer simple page per extension. They changed it a couple of years back and I assumed they’d swiftly recognize their mistake.