The website that I do the vast majority of my of my online shopping on is Amazon, much like the rest of the country.  I enjoy shopping on Amazon for several reasons from the Amazonprice point of their products in relation to their competition as well as the navigability and layout of their site.  They have done a very good job of using white space and simple color contrasts to draw the readers eyes to promotions and deals being promoted at the time. In addition to this, amazon uses spacing, alignment and several other techniques described by Dave Underwood to make their site one of the largest online retailers in the country.

The video series by Dave Underwood lays out techniques for making any form of graphic design aesthetically pleasing as well as professional, breaking it down into three categories, Logos, Pathos and Ethos.  Pathos is the core of graphic design and is what is used to describe how to make something east for the audience to read, while logos and ethos are more minor categories that help to describe how to improve the professionalism of an individuals graphic design skills.  Amazon does a very good job of implementing all three areas with a strong focus on pathos as well as user centered design.

Pathos, Logos and Ethos

Amazon does a very good job of implementing pathos into their site design, making their site very easy for the shopper to view.  The first way that they do this is through the use of white space as well as simple, light toned color contrasts.  By using white space the layout of the site is very clean and does not feel cluttered.  It helps draw the shoppers eyes to the important information and products that they are looking to sell.  Color contrasts helps with this goal of drawing the shoppers eyes to certain products or areas of the site and, by using simple or light tone colors they avoid making the site feel noisy and thus distracting the shopper.  All of their information is very cleanly aligned using a grid format, again making it easier for the shopper to view the site.

Amazon implements logos and ethos, techniques used to improve the look for professionalism, by varying the font style and size.  Underwood talks about the importance of using classic fonts with simple differences in order to keep the layout looking clean and professional.  Amazon uses font variation to emphasize certain aspects of deals and promotions as well as to break the site up into clean, uncluttered segments.  Additionally, Amazon knows how to keep it simple and doesn’t overload their page with text or product information.  The product advertisement is simple and clean and does not overwhelm the shopper as they surf through the site.

User Centered Design

In addition to creating a aesthetically pleasing and professional looking site, Amazon also does a very good job of making the site very easy for the shopper to navigate.  Whether it is the suggestion of products similar items recently searched or providing an easy to read, un-bias system for reviewing products on the site.  Probably the best feature, related to user centered design is the shoppers ability to check out ‘in one click’, making the shopping experience quick and easy.


It is no wonder that Amazon is the largest online retailer and is quickly sucking up more and more of the marketshare, with the way that they have implemented these graphic design techniques as well as their focus on user centered design.  Whether it is the easy of use of their site, the vast number of products offered, mobility of shopping experience or the speed at which ‘prime members’ can receive products, Amazon has done a good job to corner the online shopping market and continue to grow as a company.


8 thoughts on “Amazon

  1. I agree that Amazon does a pretty incredible job of making their selection of products not only easy to find, but easy to purchase. They have all the different categories of items on the left, search on the top, and once you’re looking at a product, you can buy it with one click on the right side of the page. The way it is laid out is very simple and there seems to be no wasted space.

    1. I hadnt really though about that there really isnt wasted space, but you are completely right. It is amazing that with how well the space is used, and how much information is on each page it dosent get overwhelming. The web designers there really know when say enough.

  2. I’m an avid amazon user, I literally shop for everything on that site, and for some reason I’ve never been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have (i swear it’s endless). After reading your post however, it all makes sense now! You’re totally right when you said they use simple/light colors, which in turn doesn’t make the site feel noisy/distracting. The color palate and ease of navigation makes the user feel comfortable while shopping.

  3. As a frequent Amazon user, one of the things I love and hate most about the website is the suggestion section underneath the products you are viewing. The reason why I love it is because shopping never truly ends at Amazon with that feature. I hate it because it means a huge hit on the bank account. Overall, I think its an ingenious feature that keeps users hooked to the website.

  4. Amazon is very creative with their style by mixing up font sizes and styles. They really know how to make people focus on certain numbers on a page or elements of a page in general. I like their use of color contrast, the white background makes the page feel more open.

  5. Amazon is definitely good at what they do.

    The CEO, Jeff Bezos, is a very innovative man. I would encourage you to listen to his interview with Charlie Rose.

    I do not personally use the website a whole bunch, but I know people who do. It’s like their addicted to shopping on Amazon, and much of that can be credited to the ease of access and overall design.

  6. Amazon does an amazing job of getting me to look at things that I didn’t intend on buying when I first entered the site. The home page has such well done graphic design that I always get distracted and end up buying multiple random items. They truly do a great job of catching the eye of the customers.

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