On MacBites 94 we discussed the discoverability of apps in the Mac App Store and I outlined what changes would make using it a better experience for me.

Here’s an outline of the points I discussed.

1. The Speed of the Store

I find the speed of the Mac App Store almost completely random. At times it loads instantly but then it slows to a crawl with an endless spinning wheel as it prepares to either switch views or load the requested page. Even a poorly optimized website is faster than the App Store most of the time. Apple could really make a difference to the end user if they could speed up the process of provided access to the requested content.

2. Multiple Pages

invariably when I’m considering a purchase I wish to compare apps and currently there is no really satisfactory way to juxtapose the information for two or more apps to provide a meaningful way to compare features, reviews and more side by side.

I’d love the ability to open multiple product pages inside the App Store.

3. Purchase Organization

Once you have more than a handful of apps the Purchases Tab becomes the bane of your life. There is absolutely no way to organize your purchased apps. Even the ability to sort them alphabetically would assist in locating each app. Currently the Purchases Tab is an endless list of apps organized by purchase date and that’s it, no grouping, prioritizing or any other useful taxonomy is permitted.

Grouping, starring and even colour coding would be a most welcome addition to the App Store experience.

4. Category Exclusion

I’m not a gamer! Well I have been known to venture in to a text based adventure game in my youth but other than that I have never enjoyed computers games. I have no desire to have games of any description foisted upon me every time I head in to the App Store.

The ability to exclude categories from displaying within the store would be a huge boon. Will Apple ever allow it? I very much doubt it, they may be customer focused but there are limits!

5. Wish Lists

The iTunes Store has wish lists, Amazon has wish lists and I for one would find the addition of such a facility in the Mac App Store a major benefit. It’s exclusion doesn’t mean I purchase instantly, it’s much more likely I’ll intend to return to such an app and then forget. The addition of a wish list would solve this problem and I’d probably end up spending even more money in the App Store than I do now!

What About You?

Those are my top five wishes for the Mac App Store but what about you? I’m sure you have some interesting ideas of your own. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.