Little content and poor design make Redbook One Stop Shop not worth a look

Aug 17, 2010
Shine

The iPhone 4 has been available for nearly two months now, so I question why an app developer such as Nearbynow, Inc., the creator of many of Hearst Magazine’s publication-related apps, has failed to fully embrace retina display. The latest collaboration between Nearbynow and Hearst is Redbook’s One Stop Shop (free). Because the app doesn’t […]

The iPhone 4 has been available for nearly two months now, so I question why an app developer such as Nearbynow, Inc., the creator of many of Hearst Magazine’s publication-related apps, has failed to fully embrace retina display. The latest collaboration between Nearbynow and Hearst is Redbook’s One Stop Shop (free). Because the app doesn’t support retina display, its photo-centered content looks so terrible that I can’t imagine anyone clamoring to give the app a second look.

Lest you think I’m just focusing on looks, Redbook’s One Stop Shop doesn’t just fail there. Its load time is extremely slow, something I found strange based on both the quality of the images and in how little content the app actually holds. One Stop Shop is divided into four categories that can be accessed via the “Guides” tab: “Beauty,” “Fashion,” “Home” and “Dinner,” which feels like an afterthought, and currently features six recipes—two centered on corn, two for rice and two for salmon.

Within each category, the user-interface gets stranger, with some items displaying in list format and some showing in coverflow style. Again, the load time was frustrating because each item features nothing more than an image photo. You can display an item description by tapping the small arrow near the bottom of the screen, add the product to your favorites list with the star, or use the pink “Find It” button to see where you can purchase the product locally or online.

Although I did appreciate the ability to contact a store via the app to see if a product was in-stock, I didn’t find the local store finder  (nor the online list, for that matter) to be comprehensive. The app also features a “Search” tab, misnamed because the function of the section is to filter your results by price. One Stop Shop also has a section to “search” by brand, but there were no options within, it so it was unusable. As for finding products in-stock nearby, the app was able to verify that an item was available and gave me the option to put it on hold. A good feature if you’re interested in one of the 61 products featured in the app this week.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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