Revealing
Design Treasures
from The Amazon
Jared M. Spool (@jmspool)        User
User Interface Engineering       Interfac...
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
“I like how Amazon does it.
Why don’t we do it just like
          Amazon?”
What makes
Amazon so
attractive?
Visitors in December, 2009:

85,943,873
Revenue in 2009:

$24,509,000,000
   Increase over 2008: 24%
2009 Foresee Customer Satisfaction Rating:

                 87
Unique Customers Since Launch:

 76,000,000
Ranking in World Population: 17
Orders placed in 2008:

 175,000,000
Orders processed every second: 24
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Engage Through
Content
Amazon Treasure #1
Amazon
Amazon
Reviews:
3,532
Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows
Reviews:
5,591
Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer’s Stone
The Helpfulness Question




                           Amazon
Amazon
Caution
Be Careful When
Emulating Features
Target
Harry Potter 7 Reviews One Month after Release


Barnes & Noble (BN.com)

              319
          Walmart.com

       ...
Harry Potter 7 Reviews One Month after Release


           Amazon.com

            1805
             Target.com

        ...
Ratio of Reviewers to Purchasers:

           1 in 1,300
    Purchases required for 20 reviews: 26,000
Viewers required at...
Treasure #1:

Engage Through Content
  User commentary enhances the experience
     Brings an air of authenticity to the c...
Don’t Fear
New Ideas
Amazon Treasure #2
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Caution
Some Experiments Don’t
Pan Out
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
If every customer spent $5 more per order,
     it would make Amazon an additional

   $875,000,000
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Treasure #2:

Don’t Fear New Ideas
  Experimenting with new ideas is a critical part of innovation
     Risk averse organi...
Eliminate Tool Time
While Delivering
Confidence
Amazon Treasure #3
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon’s Security Levels
 Level 0: Amazon doesn’t know who you are (no cookie)

 Level 1: Amazon knows you from a cookie
 ...
Amazon
Goal Time vs. Tool Time
 Goal Time: When the user is improving the outcome of the
 experience
   When the user is consider...
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Facebook
Facebook
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon 2007 Navigation
Phase-In Plan
Phase 1: Non-cookied visitors - 5,000 per day

Phase II: Non-cookied visitors - 1 per...
Caution
Not All Use Cases Are Equal
Items Easy To Find
with Search
 The Princess Bride

 Books by Tom Clancy

 Movies with Téa Leoni

 A Canon SD1100

 Mario ...
Items Difficult to Find
with Search
 The first Tom Clancy book featuring Jack Ryan
 An inexpensive, but high quality SLR cam...
Amazon
Amazon
CD Baby
UMass Amherst
BLS.gov
Westlaw
iwbank.it
Wachovia
Treasure #3:

Eliminate Tool Time
  Decreasing tool time increases user satisfaction
     By shortening steps and removing...
Never Forget the
Business
Amazon Treasure #4
Apple
BestBuy
Target
Site
Amazon’s “Negative
   Operating Cycle”
           Amazon turns its inventory every 20 days
                 Best Buy turns...
Treasure #4:

Never Forget the Business
  Amazon’s business model is deliberately designed
     The site is designed to fit...
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Revealing Treasures from
The Amazon
 Engage your users by delivering great content
 Don’t fear trying out new ideas
 Elimi...
More Info from User
Interface Engineering
 Newsletter: UIEtips (FREE)

 UIE Virtual Seminars

 User Interface 15 Conferenc...
Jared Spool: Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon
Jared Spool: Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon
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Jared Spool: Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon

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Jared Spool at BayCHI: Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon

On its surface, Amazon.com just seems like a large e-commerce site, albeit a successful one. Its design isn't flashy, nor is it much to write home about. But deep within its pages are hidden secrets—secrets that every designer should know about.

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Jared Spool: Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon

  1. 1. Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon Jared M. Spool (@jmspool) User User Interface Engineering Interface Engineering #JaredRamblesOnAndOnAndOnAndOn
  2. 2. Amazon
  3. 3. Amazon
  4. 4. Amazon
  5. 5. Amazon
  6. 6. Amazon
  7. 7. Amazon
  8. 8. Amazon
  9. 9. “I like how Amazon does it. Why don’t we do it just like Amazon?”
  10. 10. What makes Amazon so attractive?
  11. 11. Visitors in December, 2009: 85,943,873
  12. 12. Revenue in 2009: $24,509,000,000 Increase over 2008: 24%
  13. 13. 2009 Foresee Customer Satisfaction Rating: 87
  14. 14. Unique Customers Since Launch: 76,000,000 Ranking in World Population: 17
  15. 15. Orders placed in 2008: 175,000,000 Orders processed every second: 24
  16. 16. Amazon
  17. 17. Amazon
  18. 18. Amazon
  19. 19. Engage Through Content Amazon Treasure #1
  20. 20. Amazon
  21. 21. Amazon
  22. 22. Reviews: 3,532 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  23. 23. Reviews: 5,591 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  24. 24. The Helpfulness Question Amazon
  25. 25. Amazon
  26. 26. Caution Be Careful When Emulating Features
  27. 27. Target
  28. 28. Harry Potter 7 Reviews One Month after Release Barnes & Noble (BN.com) 319 Walmart.com 331
  29. 29. Harry Potter 7 Reviews One Month after Release Amazon.com 1805 Target.com 3
  30. 30. Ratio of Reviewers to Purchasers: 1 in 1,300 Purchases required for 20 reviews: 26,000 Viewers required at 2% conversion rate: 1,300,000
  31. 31. Treasure #1: Engage Through Content User commentary enhances the experience Brings an air of authenticity to the content Putting in a system to “bubble up” the most interesting or useful content can dramatically improve the experience Only a small percentage of visitors will participate Amazon has millions of visitors a day. Do you? You need to ensure you’ll have the traffic to make this happen
  32. 32. Don’t Fear New Ideas Amazon Treasure #2
  33. 33. Amazon
  34. 34. Amazon
  35. 35. Amazon
  36. 36. Amazon
  37. 37. Amazon
  38. 38. Amazon
  39. 39. Amazon
  40. 40. Amazon
  41. 41. Amazon
  42. 42. Caution Some Experiments Don’t Pan Out
  43. 43. Amazon
  44. 44. Amazon
  45. 45. Amazon
  46. 46. Amazon
  47. 47. Amazon
  48. 48. Amazon
  49. 49. Amazon
  50. 50. Amazon
  51. 51. Amazon
  52. 52. Amazon
  53. 53. If every customer spent $5 more per order, it would make Amazon an additional $875,000,000
  54. 54. Amazon
  55. 55. Amazon
  56. 56. Amazon
  57. 57. Treasure #2: Don’t Fear New Ideas Experimenting with new ideas is a critical part of innovation Risk averse organizations produce crap Sometimes experiments don’t quite turn out the way you expect Amazon is very comfortable with ideas not catching on They have clear metrics of success (orders, revenue) Risk is critical, but you have to minimize it at every chance
  58. 58. Eliminate Tool Time While Delivering Confidence Amazon Treasure #3
  59. 59. Amazon
  60. 60. Amazon
  61. 61. Amazon
  62. 62. Amazon
  63. 63. Amazon’s Security Levels Level 0: Amazon doesn’t know who you are (no cookie) Level 1: Amazon knows you from a cookie It’s how they know what books to recommend or if you’re a 1-click customer Level 2: Amazon wants to reveal something only you should know Such as your address or shipping history
  64. 64. Amazon
  65. 65. Goal Time vs. Tool Time Goal Time: When the user is improving the outcome of the experience When the user is considering the product they wish to purchase Tool Time: When the user is moving forward without any improvement in the outcome of the experience When the user is struggling with the security system When the user is dealing with redesigned elements
  66. 66. Amazon
  67. 67. Amazon
  68. 68. Amazon
  69. 69. Facebook
  70. 70. Facebook
  71. 71. Amazon
  72. 72. Amazon
  73. 73. Amazon
  74. 74. Amazon 2007 Navigation Phase-In Plan Phase 1: Non-cookied visitors - 5,000 per day Phase II: Non-cookied visitors - 1 per every 5 Phase III: Cookied customers - 5,000 per day Phase IV: Cookied customers - 1 per every 5 Phase V: Everyone Total time: 12 weeks
  75. 75. Caution Not All Use Cases Are Equal
  76. 76. Items Easy To Find with Search The Princess Bride Books by Tom Clancy Movies with Téa Leoni A Canon SD1100 Mario Kart for the Wii
  77. 77. Items Difficult to Find with Search The first Tom Clancy book featuring Jack Ryan An inexpensive, but high quality SLR camera A good toy for my six-year-old niece Novels written by Nobel Prize for Literature winners
  78. 78. Amazon
  79. 79. Amazon
  80. 80. CD Baby
  81. 81. UMass Amherst
  82. 82. BLS.gov
  83. 83. Westlaw
  84. 84. iwbank.it
  85. 85. Wachovia
  86. 86. Treasure #3: Eliminate Tool Time Decreasing tool time increases user satisfaction By shortening steps and removing obstacles, users are happier Redesigns create massive tool time for users Avoid redesigns completely by making all changes small and incremental Not all use cases are the same Search works on Amazon because of their data Match functions to your use cases, not the other way around
  87. 87. Never Forget the Business Amazon Treasure #4
  88. 88. Apple
  89. 89. BestBuy
  90. 90. Target
  91. 91. Site
  92. 92. Amazon’s “Negative Operating Cycle” Amazon turns its inventory every 20 days Best Buy turns its inventory every 74 days } Standard retail payment terms: 45 days Day Best Buy Cash Debt 0 44 74 76 Product Product Customer Customer Ordered Paid For Buys Pays } Day Amazon 0 20 22 Cash Float 44 Product Customer Customer Product Ordered Buys Pays Paid For
  93. 93. Treasure #4: Never Forget the Business Amazon’s business model is deliberately designed The site is designed to fit the business You have to start with a great business model to produce a great experience
  94. 94. Amazon
  95. 95. Amazon
  96. 96. Amazon
  97. 97. Amazon
  98. 98. Amazon
  99. 99. Amazon
  100. 100. Amazon
  101. 101. Revealing Treasures from The Amazon Engage your users by delivering great content Don’t fear trying out new ideas Eliminate tool time while delivering confidence Never forget the business Caution is warranted Be careful when emulating features Some experiments don’t pan out Not all use cases are equal
  102. 102. More Info from User Interface Engineering Newsletter: UIEtips (FREE) UIE Virtual Seminars User Interface 15 Conference uiconf.com Site: www.uie.com Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook: jmspool

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