Here is another fun fact about Chuck Norris: that was him who bited Apple logo. No, this one is really real not just real like previous ones. Long story short. Chuck Norris got offended by that fact that his application for iPhone had awfull sales and blamed — you’ll never guess — Apple usability for that. Apple App Store should be sorry for that some useless iphone run-and-gun app doesn’t sell. Chuck terrorised Apple Inc. that he’ll move to Android platform from iPhone (did anyone care about that?) and rejected design changes Apple proposed. So Chuck Norris created his own design for App Store and Apple used his idea to change the App Store interface. Know what? Chuck was much better counting to infinity and travelling to Mars then as UX specialist.

So what’s wrong?

The slight and not critical change was changing the grid and elements placement. Now they look like they were fitted not placed with ease and lotsa space around them like it was before. You can’t recognize where is information you need from the first sight. You have to search for it and even (can you believe that?) click more and more! Users say that they were delighted by how obvious the App Store was. Now it isn’t ;)

That's how application page looked like before Chuck invasion (the image was found using Google Images)
That's how application page looks now, after Chuck brought pain to usability

That leads us to the main problem of App Store as a part of iTunes Store redesign — elements got inconsistent. I wrote a post about GUI elements consistency, so I’ll just remind that every user interface element that does any function must look the way that best represents that it does that function. E.g. button looks like button andlinks are blue and/or underlined. And sure you don’t have to do a bunch of buttons styles — that would confuse users. Also don’t make not buttons look like buttons — that would confuse even more.

They don’t have it now in App Store. Here are the few examples:

Can you tell which one is progress bar and which one is scroll? They look the same! The same like progress bar does

Ok, here is a hint:

Still inobvious anyway

I thought that applications block was loading for the first times until accidentally clicked there. Even Google with awful scrollbars in Wave was better.

The next one is much harder. Can you spot all the links in text block below?

Except blue links (that are obvious and clear) "Report a Concern ›" and "Yes | No" are the links. The other black bold text isn't a link. Don't ask me why

By the way the blue color is also used for captions that are not a links.

Breadcrumbs on top changed too.

They look more like links to websites (highlighted after the app description) not like the breadcrumbs Apple uses all over the site and used to use in App Store
While breadcrumbs on the bottom of the page remained ok

Buy button looks like some kind of dropdown and tab vicious relations offsrping.

If the app is free then there is nothing to do about it — no "download" or "buy" just statement of fact

To summon the unusable interface monster they also added awfull wet floor effect to rating stars that now look like overdecorated something but make it hard to read the info they should represent.

Wet floor effect is less aggressive and more readable when rating

Is everything wrong?

No gamma became lighter and it makes it easier to read text (but that wasn’t hard earlier) though it made iTunes Store look just like site opened in iTunes not like the part of application.

Fact

Chuck Norris isn’t good as UX expert. Apple ruins interface for unobvious reason.