When I was first approached by a fellow on the internet evangelizing about Magento one of the things I was told was how user friendly it was. Having experienced the pain and suffering at the hands of osCommerce, CRE Loaded and Zen Cart I was elated that someone finally got it. Since I sell digital products I had little use for Magento until recently.
I installed the script and started adding categories and products.. only to realize my categories and products were not showing up on the front page, as depicted in the demo. I uninstalled, deleted files and db and started over. I honestly thought it was a bad upload or a bad install until the second time gave way to the same result. I then checked error logs and contacted my tech support all of which turned up nothing.. I was completely and utterly shocked when I came to the realization that Magento, a script touted as the best shopping cart software ever and a solution to small ecommerce businesses problems, did not include in the script a way to show the navigation for the site or the featured products on the front page.. something all of the other competitors do with ease.
I was further frustrated that this doesnt seem to be common knowledge. Since I also build sites for small businesses I have had a few opportunities to request that they use Magento, but they have all told me they tried the script and it’s broken… and one current client has gotten so frustrated with not being able to change categories on the fly she has actually asked me to switch her back to her old cart system.
Now the back end is pretty great and is feature backed.. but why the heck show a demo of your script running and doing things that the layman can’t do out of the box, especially when you dont inform them that it cant be done out of the box. Seems to me someone in charge of programming the next version of magento needs to look into some usability issues like this and make the script easier to understand and utilize in its most basic initial install form.