Redesigning the Amazon Home Page

Re-invisioning the home page of Amazon into a place customers want to visit daily. Starting with tablets.

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Project Background & Status

Customer intent ranges from “I don’t know what I want” to “I know exactly what I want”. Amazon is a great place to visit when you know exactly what you want. But what about when you don’t? How do we effectively deliver an incredible experience for the customers who are looking to browse?

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How does Amazon meet each customer need? Currently we employ one of the strongest user experiences to those who know what they’re looking for. The search bar. For those who don’t know what they want and don’t have a general direction in mind, we sort of push people off into a hard to navigate “grand bazar” of so many random products covering scores of inconsistent pages, I would classify it as noise.

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How do we begin to deliver a better experience? What are some specific customer problems we can solve while we create a larger system? How do customers behave elsewhere?

Because the nature of this project is to reimagine what the home page could be, constraints are not the focus. While every project has constraints, this particular one was more focused on creating a north star to head towards vs. specifics.

What are some specific customer problems we can solve?

USX has an entire research department. They worked hard to summarize all the feedback we’ve received through innumerable user testing sessions. Three specific customer problems that stood out to me as being reoccurring common themes among customers are:

  • “I need a lot of help and insight to jump start my shopping and I need to discover unfamiliar products easily"
  • “I have difficulty returning to the gateway after completing a task"
  • “I need Amazon to clearly communicate about when programs and offerings apply and how they benefit me"

Current Status

What does the current tablet gateway look like? What kind of content is shown? How engaging is it? Right now it seems less than optimal. The content is pretty static. There are a lot of unbalanced components and it suffers from a lack of relevance.

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Without being too harsh, I'd say there is a lot of room for improvement. Most of all, I think we need to deliver what our customers are asking for. Customer's have asked us to help them find really interesting things they never knew they wanted. Even baby boomers are now utilizing the prolific scroll patterns on mobile and tablet devices which permeate the app market. It's comfortable to them. It's a great pattern. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, we need to enable it to move faster. Below I've outlined a series of changes which completely turn Amazon's home page on its side. It would require quite a bit of effort to produce well, but I think the returns would pay off in spades.

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Conclusion

I chose the tablet home page to start with because it's an area where I feel we can easily experiment with bigger broad changes. It's not as formulaic as the desktop home page where every pixel is tied to hundreds of millions in sales. We need a place to be more scrappy and innovative. We need room to breath and try and directly answer our customers requests.

This design certainly isn't a panacea for every customer problem, but I think it's a large step in the right direction for redefining the relationship Amazon's customers have with its home page.