Paul McAleer

Catalogs Still Work, Sometimes

Paul McAleer

I received a Lands’ End catalog yesterday. I normally take these catalogs from the mailbox and deposit them directly into the recycling bin, but this time I took a few minutes to look through it while cooking dinner.

And, you know, it worked on me. As I leafed through the selection of men’s clothes my mind drifted to buying more things from them; by today I was thinking that it might be time to replace a few dress shirts.

Shopping the Lands’ End site is a very different experience than leafing through one of their catalogs. Notably, shopping the Lands’ End ecatalog is yet another experience. In this case the catalog served a middle ground for me: I wasn’t in pure shopping mode (ie, had a particular goal in mind) but I also didn’t want technology in my face (ie, the ecatalog’s interface gets in my way.)

Touch interfaces bring us a lot closer to that same middle ground but, as the mostly-failed magazine apps for iPad prove, we have a ways to go.