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 price 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.