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Collaborative Book Discovery Website

Published 11/07/2010 and rated Ratingstars2 2 out of 5 stars
by AppAppeal Editor
What can you use the app for?

ShelfLuv offers a unique, though somewhat limited, service for book buyers. The application pulls results from Amazon books and allows users to quickly search for titles that match their query. While this sounds similar to the basic search feature found on Amazon’s website, ShelfLuv gives the task a little more character. Users can view search results on a three dimensional shelf image. The full color book covers appear with the title entered below (on the edge of the virtual shelf). As the user types keywords into the search field, the results are updated.

ShelfLuv screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

ShelfLuv was created by Pek Pongpaet. Pongpaet is a digital designer located in Chicago. After viewing Google Instant and YouTube Instant, Pongpaet wanted to create a similar tool that could be used through Amazon. The application was created during a hackathon, or coding competition and was done in 48 hours. The result was the eye-catching, real time search offered by ShelfLuv.

What are the differences to other apps?

ShelfLuv makes searching for books on Amazon an artistic experience. Animated alphabetical or sales rank sorting, the shelf display, and real time updates makes it a fun alternative to the bland on site search. That being said, the basic function of ShelfLuv is to search Amazon books, which it does. However, it seems that some results are severely lacking. Very common words like “dog” and “art” yield no results, when it would seem there should be many. ShelfLuv offers up a suggestion based on what is entered in the search field, but this is very limited and may not be at all what the user was searching for. While ShelfLuv is unique in terms of appearance, it seems to lack in the way of functionality.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

Appearance is where ShelfLuv shines. The application presents book search results in full color, with large thumbnails of the book cover positioned neatly on a virtual bookshelf. Each image is well spaced with the title entered just under along the front edge of the bookshelf. The website itself could use a few changes, with the text entered in very, very light shades of grey and brown. The light coloration may seem to blend well with the shelf design, but it makes the content very difficult to read on some monitors.

How does the registration process work?

ShelfLuv does not require users to create an account to perform a search. Anyone can stop by the website and begin looking for titles while viewing results on the attractive virtual bookshelf. ShelfLuv does not offer any kind of registration option for users, However, there are connect buttons for Twitter and Facebook so users can share their ShelfLuv search results with others through popular social networking sites. An account might be a nice addition so that users can save their searches, however for now no such option exists on the site.

What does it cost to use the application?

ShelfLuv takes a free service anyone can perform on Amazon and gives it a little aesthetic flair. While the appearance aspect is a nice addition, it really doesn’t function as well as the standard Amazon search. Requiring a payment for the service would likely turn away anyone that would have used it. ShelfLuv is available for free to anyone. There are no account requirements, so all visitors can use the application to search Amazon books.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Anyone looking for books can use ShelfLuv. However, the site is more eye-candy than anything else, so those looking for a quick, effective search would do better actually going to Amazon. Unless the functionality was improved, the site seems to only offer appearance rather than accurate results.

  • Search for titles with real time results
  • View titles in a well organized image based format
  • Share your search results through Twitter and Facebook
  • Visually distinguish between book types (paperback, hardcover, or Kindle)
  • Sort ShelfLuv results by sales rank or alphabetically by title

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