Amazon ux assestment for coolblue

Framework

Amazon, the chosen one

After much consideration, Amazon was the site of choice for a number or reasons. First, it is one of the leading websites when it comes to e-commerce around the world. Its branding is universally recognized and hasn't changed much over the years, influencing the fact that the website still has a somehow 'old-school' feel to it. However, it would be interesting to analyze the prime facts of its UX to understand how they manage to stay relevant across time.

Competition Benchmarking

AliExpress

  • Visible categories from the get-go
  • Visible products from the get-go
  • Lots of call-to-actions (namely: 'Shop now!')
  • Seasonal banners - Sale banners
  • Search bar on upper area

bol.com

  • Visible categories
  • Super contrasted Sale options that are clearly navigational
  • Search bar on upper area

ebay

  • A selection of relevant categories divided on a series of banners is featured with call to actions
  • Featured collections are visible
  • Super prominent search bar on upper area

ThinkGeek

  • Brands are featured and navigable from the get-go
  • Products are greatly featured on a slideshow, including seasonal promotions.

YesStyle

  • Gender separation is prominent
  • Deals with call-to-action is featured but not really visible
  • Genders have clear categories to navigate

Benchmarking conclusions

  • Most webshops have very similar layout, as expected
  • Categories are all visible from the get-go
  • Different thematic banners are featured, all of them with clear call-to-actions prompting the user to 'shop now'
  • These thematic banners are mostly static but sometimes they are seasonal or contextual (with temporary Sales or Deals)
  • The search bar is located in the upper area of these websites, sometimes really not prominent

The Amazon Approach

(when not logged-in)

... but how do users actually behave?

Usability Testing

Ten users of different backgrounds and countries of origin were taken to answer some questions and perform some very easy tasks on Amazon's Home (when not logged-in)

Preliminary questions

80% had Amazon accounts
70% already know what they're looking for

Usability Tasks

Task 1

Let's say you just arrived to Amazon. Where would you click first to start your experience?

70% clicked on the Search Bar

Task 2

Let's say you want to buy yourself a gift, where would you click to achieve that?

30% clicked again on the search bar. Curiously 2 people were attracted to the non-related banner. Only 1 person clicked on a Sign-in button.

Post-tasks Questions

How likely is it for you to go directly to the Search Bar during your visits to Amazon?

70% were very likely to go directly to the Search Bar. The other 30% would be mostly likely to do so.

How likely is it for you to go Sign in / Sign up during your visits to Amazon?

60% is unlikely to go Sign-in / Sign-up immediately after accusing Amazon

Post-tasks user insights

What's the most important thing you need to see on Amazon's Home Page upon arrival?

What would you add to the Amazon Home Page to make it more appealing to your experience?

User data conclusions

  • Most people have accounts, but they won't go directly to Sign-in / Sign-out areas
  • Most people know what they're looking for, so they'll go directly to the Search Bar
  • Some people want to be shown relevant products that could interest them, namely Deals, Sales or just highlighted products
  • Product-related areas like 'Popular Departments' and 'Today's Deals' fail visually next to third-party banners

So, we could say that...

  • Even though they have accounts, the Sign-in / Sign-up area doesn't seem as critical as the Search Bar, and...
  • The Search Bar is probably the single most important part of the Home page
  • Even if they don't care about Signing-in to get 'the full experience', they still want to be shown products of interest
  • The overall layout is overall visually bland when not logged-in

Which is why a revamped User Interface was designed...

Introducing the New Amazon

Proposal Breakdown

The new 'non-logged-in' Home page is divided in three main areas.

1 · Modern 'Hero' header with a highlighted Search Bar that functions as a Call-to-Action

The Search Bar is the new, sole protagonist of the first 30% of the interface. It is subtly labeled as a 'gate to endless possibilities' because of its nature and the fact that Amazon clearly offers pretty much anything.

To sum up:

  • The header gets cleaned up for reduced 'visual noise'
  • The Search Bar, arguably the most critical element, gets highlighted
  • The background would show a subtle video, using 'Video Storytelling' principles to get people subconsciously in context without being overwhelming
  • The Sign-in area is still there, clearly visible for the people who want to go there first, or need to check on their account details
  • The small arrow in the bottom area serves for going to the second and third areas of this design

1.1 · Integrated Department Navigator on Search Bar

Each item is navegable. On the left sidebar the items serve as filter for search results. The right container serves as a list for curated categories as well a promoting certain products and/or services

Although according to user-testing, the 'department' button is not as critical as others, it's still important to include a way to not only visualize the available categories but navigate to their respective landing pages. This functionality is integrated in the Search Bar, so each item is clickable so if the user clicks it in the left sidebar, the user will just filter the subsequent search. If, on the other hand the user uses any of the links on the right container, the user will navigate to a landing page containing individual products. The right container is useful too for promoting individual items that are popular, on sale or new.

A new Content Strategy was imagined and applied on this component.

The content on this component has been reimagined, so not only there are less items to navigate within, but the information displayed on the right container is more streamlined. Less items leads to better readability and thus, to more optimized navigation and eventually increased conversion rates.

2 · Product Mosaic + 'Full experience' invitation

The second area of the design is focused on products. A mosaic shows products that could potentially be of interest for users. From a 'seasonal deals collection', to popular categories (probably based on local, geo-localized, purchases) as well as the Amazon offerings. Not separating these items gives the impression that they're all featured, popular and on sale; which could potentially be beneficial to Amazon's KPIs.

In addition, everything is next to a well-constructed text inviting users to sign-in / sign-up in order to get the full experience.

In addition, even more featured 'categories' could be added and they would be navigable

3 · Featured Products

This minimally-designed area complements the upper product mosaic, showing individual items instead of categories. When in hover, each item shows complementary CTAs like the 'Add to cart' action as well as a link to deploy a modal with product details, with the convenience of not leaving the page.

These items are listed in a contextual way, so all products that are geographically popular could appear here, as well as temporary deals and hot products that just arrived. Each item has visual indicators to make price discounts evident as well as whether they're 'deals', 'popular' or 'new' products.

Lastly, there is 'navigator' in the way of an arrow to let the user see what other items are featured.

Navigational Flows

Keep in mind this re-design process was made with the 'not-logged-in' Home in mind and therefore directly affects the KPI of 'conversion rates by more accounts' and also accessing the 'full experience Site' that is not properly advertised on the current model.

By optimizing the 'not-logged-in' Home, people will access Products more easily, both the ones the user knows when using the Search Bar and ones the user didn't know he/she wanted. Accessing products easily will lead to faster purchases, which cannot be done unlogged.

Next Steps

A lot of work is yet to be done to have a bigger impact on the optimization of Amazon's KPIs. The proposed next steps to achieve that are as follows:

  • A/B Testing for the two Homes
  • User-research on Amazon's inner pages (category, search results, product detail, etc.)
  • Complete navigational flows for each kind of user.
  • User-data analysis and Visual Re-design on the aforementioned inner pages
  • Prototyping and further usability testing

Thank you in advance.

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Created By
Julian Montoya
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