One of the best sites that I use from time to time for all essentially all my online purchases is Amazon.com. The site is very easy to navigate and has many effective design features that contribute to the overall quality of the site’s aesthetics.
Amazon’s home page is filled with pictures of items that are either recommended for the logged in user or are in general, popular. There isn’t a lot of text other than the headings above some of the items like “recommended for you” and “Movies included with Prime Membership.” Amazon understands their audience very well, because they are not inserting any superfluous text into the site, they know the main attractions are the visuals of the objects being sold, and any excessive text can appear to be distracting. It’s very simple to navigate. Amazon knows that people are going to their site with an intent to make a purchase, so they center the search bar directly in the middle of the top of the page, where the user is likely to look first.
In this article analyzing Amazon’s layout, the author points out that Amazon designs their website around two main purposes: product search and online shopping. Because they know product search is a purpose, they include a feature to narrow one’s search by department in the store, like home and kitchen, automotive, etc. They also recommend products based on previous search items, so if a user leaves the site before making a purchase, when they go back the next time, it’ll be easy to find what they need.
In this article discussing Amazon’s design success, the author points out that Amazon uses a variety of ways to help users of the site navigate easier and recognize features. For example, sometimes color contrast isn’t enough to draw the reader’s eye, like when people are color blind, so Amazon uses a mixture of fonts on their page as well to show when links on the page can send the user to different areas.
Amazon’s design makes it easy for users to recognize what features of the site are most important, simply by looking at the home page and having their eyes naturally drawn to certain items. Throughout the year, Amazon changes their promotions based on the time of year. For example, right now, they’re promoting father’s day supplies because the holiday is in nine days. They target their promotions towards the major holiday or event that is going to be next, because they often know ahead of time what the audience is looking for, and want to make the process easier for them in order to increase the likelihood of a purchase. This is a great example of logos because Amazon is recognizing the needs of their customers and creating logical promotions target towards those needs.
There are promotions all over Amazon’s page that are meant to entice a potential buyer and give them the extra push to buy something. Amazon’s goal is obviously to make as much money possible selling their goods, and offering discounts and free items or memberships can make people feel like they’re missing out on deals if they don’t participate. They make these promotions obvious and frequent throughout the page because they are reinforcing their purpose of providing people with goods cheaper than they can get elsewhere.
The site uses pathos through a variety of ways, but I’m just going to discuss one. For example, in the gift card section, they display picture of gift cards in boxes and bows. Usually when people see these items they get excited because everyone likes getting gifts. Even if a user isn’t intending to purchase a gift card, they make experience positive emotion from seeing items displayed in ways that they are not normally.