Technology

The Beauty of Wish Lists

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I love it when an online store has a wish list that I can use to keep track of the things I want. Amazon is my favorite store for using this feature, and I may be mistaken, but I think they invented it.

The thing about wish lists that I love so much is that it deals with a deep seated psychological issue that I’ve had for as long as I can remember; a problem that I’m sure I share with at least 99% of the world – impulsiveness. You see, when I’m browsing the web, and I run across something that I want, I get impulsive. I want to do something about this thing I want right away. Most people feel this same way to some extent, I think. The most obvious thing I can do about it is to buy it. But what if I can’t afford it at the moment? What do I do then? If I don’t buy it, I’ll forget about it, and I don’t want to forget about it. Granted, I could bookmark it, even put it in a special folder for just this type of thing; but it’s more likely that I will end up with two, three, or more methods to address this problem, and I’ll lose track of what I’ve done with what.

This is the beauty of wish lists. They allow you to do something consistent about the things you want without breaking your bank. I shop on Amazon all the time, usually looking for something specific that I intend to buy. But in the process, I often run into other things that I’m interested in. It’s very reassuring that I can just add them to my wish list, and revisit them any time in the future. I have things in my wish list that I added two or three years ago.

So, yeah. Wish lists. Really, really, useful. So I have to ask, why doesn’t the iTunes Music Store, possibly the largest music downloads store in the world, built and maintained by Apple, possibly the most talented company when it comes to designing user friendly interfaces and experiences, why doesn’t this store have a wish list feature? I browse the iTunes Music Store all the time, way more often than I have money to spend. I run across music I’d like to have every time I make a visit. So what do I do when that happens? Usually, I just move on, and often I forget about the music I was interested in at the time.

One might think that this is one advantage that the Amazon mp3 downloads section has over the iTunes Music Store. I might think the same, except that when I visited the mp3 downloads section, I was dumbfounded to find that this is possibly the only section of Amazon that does not use the wish list feature. How can this be? The irony. The tragedy! Okay, maybe not. But still, pretty strange.

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