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Office Store categories RRS feed

  • Question

  • Some questions and observations regarding the Office App Store listings page. Apologies for the epic post, this was initially a few quick questions but as I attempted to clarify what I was seeing I kept noticing more and more things that confuse me about the way the Store pages/search works and how we as publishers use 'Categories' and 'Tags'.

    1. The Store listings page 'Categories' facet appears to use the values that we select when submitting an app for publication, yet the app detail page calls them 'Tags'. Is there a difference in the values shown as 'Categories' or are these values the same as displayed for 'Tags'? They appear to be the same to me, although my next observation throws doubt on this assumption.

    2. The primary 'Category' that I selected for 2 of my apps does not show up in the facet list when viewing the Store with 'Product=All' + 'Categories=All' + 'Price=All'. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/results.aspx?av=all 

    My selected categories are 1) "Search + Discoverability" 2) "Education" 3) "Reference" and all of these values show up in that order on the app detail page as 'Tags', http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/culture-collage-dpla-WA104142489.aspx.

    Yet I don't see "Search + Discoverability" in the facet list when viewing All Products/Prices/Categories.  Likewise another app that has only one category - 'Lifestyle and Fun' - this category doesn't show up in the facet list either, and yet using the 'Tags' link shows many items in this category: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/results.aspx?vtags=Lifestyle%20and%20Fun

    There appears to be some sort of hierarchical taxonomy being used, for instance 'Reference' shows up for all Products/Prices/Categories and selecting that facet then produces a results page with new facets, one of which is 'Search + Discoverability'. When submitting an app we aren't given a selection that is hierarchical nor are we given the complete list of categories it seems. Is there a page that describes this taxonomy anywhere? It would certainly help when it comes to choosing our categories when publishing.

    3. The string value in the app submission form category dropdown is 'Lifestyle' and yet the category facet and tag string is 'Lifestyle and Fun'. I would expect to see an app tagged with exactly what had been chosen, not a variation on the selected string. (I'm glad that my app isn't helping users design funeral invitations ;) )

    4. The link from the front page of the Store to Office Apps http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/?CTT=97 forces you to select an Office product, e.g. Word, in order to get to the Store featured apps page. When you arrive at the featured apps page you can scroll right down to the bottom and use the Category facets to go to the Store listings page or you can use the rather more prominent 'more' link. If you choose the latter, you arrive at the Store listings page with the name of the Product, e.g., 'word', 'excel', visible in the search input box and the Product facet is selected, e.g. 'Word', Excel'. If you then select 'All Products', the Product facet is deselected but the Product keyword remains in the search input box and remains in the query of the url - e.g. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/results.aspx?qu=word&av=all, you cannot remove the search term and execute a new search as the term is mandatory.

    You can however remove the query from the URL and load the page which executes a new search with results that differ from the previous 'All Products' listing that had the Product keyword search term. So, 'All Products' is not actually showing 'All Products' but matching 'All Products' on the Product keyword search term, i.e. all apps that have the keyword 'word' or 'excel' in the searchable text fields. This would be correct for user generated search terms but imo not for this particular workflow. 

    If I get to the listings page via an Office Product menu option which is a facet value I would not expect that value to then be used both as the fulltext keyword for search as well as a facet because what we get then is a faceted fulltext search.

    Compare the results of a faceted search for Excel apps http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/results.aspx?avg=zxl150 with those of a faceted fulltext search for Word apps http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/results.aspx?qu=excel&ex=1&avg=zxl150. Perhaps it is intentional? Given that the Product name tends to always appear in whatever fields the fulltext search is using hence the category facets remain unchanged between the two searches. The sort order certainly changes. Its just a wee bit confusing. :)

    I would also expect to be able to clear the search and browse All Products without having to meddle with the URL.

    Personally, I would

    • add an 'All Products' option to the Store front menu
    • move category links to the top on the Store featured apps page and add an 'All Categories' link
    • remove the keyword from the 'more' link query on the Store featured apps page
    • allow empty keyword searches on the Store listings page
    • add options to clear all filters / reset search on the Store listings page

    5. Small inconsistency in tooltips on the Store listing page, 'All Products' tip says 'All Products', Price: 'All' has no tooltip, 'All Categories' tip says 'Remove All Categories' when in fact the link action does the opposite (as it should).

    6. Where is the 'Apps for Powerpoint' option in the Store 'Apps for Office and Sharepoint' header and footer menus?

    7. Finally, and I could use some help here... I ended up choosing the 'Lifestyle' category for one app as there is no category for 'Design' or 'Style' in the submission form dropdowns, and yet there is a 'Look and Feel' category facet http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/results.aspx?vtags=Lifestyle%20and%20Fun%2CLook%20%EF%BC%86%20Feel. How did those apps get that category? How can I change my app to get that category?

    OK that's it! :o :D




    • Edited by Zenlan Wednesday, November 6, 2013 9:59 AM
    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 9:49 AM

All replies

  • Try this user journey:

    From the Office Store front page click "Apps for Office and SharePoint" 

    Click the "Apps for Word" option

    Click "More" on the featured apps page

    Click "All Products"

    Click "Outlook"

    Result: "Sorry, no results found for word". (CHECK)

    Remove the search term and click the search icon. 

    "Please enter one or more search terms in the Search box". (MATE)




    • Edited by Zenlan Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:59 PM
    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:58 PM
  • Bump
    Monday, February 3, 2014 8:55 PM