Now I know where to click

Yesterday I complained about the crazy page design below the fold on att.com. I happened to be on Amazon last night and while I know this is not the new design that I’ve seen on my tablet I felt compelled to pull something together. How is it that Amazon.com can put a page like this out there and have at least as many options to explore and likely even more clickable links or buttons than AT&T? I don’t have a degree in interaction design, but I’ve been working on the web for a long time and I can tell you what works for me and what doesn’t.

The answer is simply the organization of the content. When you look at the image above you can see a section headline like “Related to Items You’ve Viewed”. The items related to that section are indented slightly. So I can easily pick out the section headline and logically group the content in that section since they are indented. The five items displayed are lined up the same way in each section so I can know where to start and stop. Since the columns keep the content lined up vertically it is easy for my eye to move through the options.

You might point out that column on the far right with a bunch of smaller images arranged vertically. This is kind of like the ad space used in a newspaper. The section is more general in nature and not necessarily specific to my purchase or viewing patterns other than perhaps by category. This area is largely overlooked unless I’m in the mood to browse. But it is still easy to move through these options in an organized manner because the columns keep things aligned vertically. The image sizes and text treatment help to keep the important stuff highlighted.

Like I said, I’m not a designer but I’ve had the pleasure of working with some very talented designers in my day. I’m sure this layout could be debated at length and I’m not endorsing this design aesthetic but rather offering a comparison to the previous post that was much more difficult to use.

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