Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amazon - Part 1

Starting off with Amazon.. since I have been doing a lot of online shopping recently. This is both convenient & easy. I have always debated over the pros and cons of shopping online and much to my dismay I have started enjoying online shopping more and more. One of the striking features with online shopping is the feedback on products you get from consumers of the product as opposed to having no feedback when you buy things off the shelf in a shop/store. So recollecting my recent online shopping experience in Amazon.com and just briefly browsing the website from a product development perspective has resulted in the following observations / suggestions. Keeping it simple and short, I am coming up with two main discussion topics about Amazon.com. I do believe there might be other things more important than the ones below but here is something to consider

One of the first things I wanted to check to see if the UI design and layout of the website is similar across different country websites. So I browsed the UK Amazon website and found it provided the same user experience. Naturally my next step was to sign in using my US account details and it didn't. What if Amazon can have one website with one account to login and browse ? The user can seamlessly perform transactions irrespective of their actual geographical location. A practical example would be -  On an average I spend at least 20% of my time outside US in any give year. I tend to perform at-least 2-3 amazon online transactions each month. If I did not have the barrier of country specific accounts I would be highly motivated to continue using Amazon.com outside US as well ( More frequently than what I do now).

My second observation was on the Screen Space usage within the Amazon website. Few things worth mentioning are-
1. Redundancy & Inconsistency between two adjacent controls in the UI design in terms of information shared and possible actions that can be triggered by the user.
 Shop By Department


2. Under Utilization of the Screen Space
A. On an average, I noticed the image space occupied in their website is way more than other websites with online shopping capabilities. Here's the visual comparison -


B. Gaps / Open Spots within the screen space that can be filled with information about the product or use it as real estate for revenue generations - Ads.

True Amazon.com is one of the market leaders in online shopping and with strong focus on making the website more user friendly and efficient they can achieve much more!

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