Presentation: Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon

Jared Spool

June 1st, 2009

Audiences have been grooving on one of my newest presentations, Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon. Here’s what I talk about:

Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon

On its surface, 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.

If one looks closely at what the team at Amazon has built, it’s filled with innovative functionality and clever designs, all of which creates a delightful experience for its users and directly produces regular profits for its shareholders. But not all is perfect. Some design changes in the last few years have not been the success that the team had hoped for. Amazon’s exceptional qualities and imperfections are critical knowledge for any designer that wants to dig deep into what makes the site tick.

In this entertaining presentation, Jared will share some of UIE’s latest research into the hidden treasures of (the) Amazon. You’ll learn:

  • The simple Yes/No question that increased revenues by more than $1 billion
  • The elegant subtlety of Amazon’s security system
  • Why Amazon’s business model is more than meets the eye (and why designers need to care)
  • The wins and losses that Amazon has had with social media functionality

Want to see it? Here it is (with audio recorded at An Event Apart Seattle 2009):

Revealing Design Treasures From The Amazon
View more amazing presentations from Jared Spool.

If you’re so inclined, you can download a PDF of the slides.

30 Responses to “Presentation: Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon”

  1. Presentation Podcast: Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon » UIE Brain Sparks Says:

    [...] Design Treasures from the Amazon [53:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download Earlier this week we released a “slidecast” of Jared’s popular Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon presentation, which features [...]

  2. Bill Says:

    Really LOVE the presentation. Really HATE how the player is working. Please fix!

    Debug Details:

    If/When the player is interrupted I can’t restart it beyond 30 minutes (or so) in (around the Amazon Makeover/Goal-Tool time slide). Most common interruptions — trying to reset to full screen and screen saver activating.

    Trying to fast forward to/past that point causes the player to pause (lock up really) and not play. Stepping back “sometimes” recovers but it continues to lock up.

    The navigation at the bottom (if that’s what it is) doesn’t make (any) sense (tight on left, really wide on right; looks vaguely logarithmic to time with no relationship to the length any given slide appears).

    This is (Windows) browser independent; reproduced this in Firefox, IE8 and Chrome.

  3. THOUGHTS ON AN EVENT APART, Part I (Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon) | E & J Design Says:

    [...] can download Jared’s slides from his [...]

  4.   Designtreasures Amazon (deel 1): content strategy | Says:

    [...] naar het “waarom” van deze niet zo onbelangrijke wijziging liep ik wel tegen een wel hele interessante presentatie van Jared Spool aan (download PDF). Hij legt hierin niet alleen terloops uit hoe Amazon de navigatie gewijzigd [...]

  5. So You Wanna Do It Like Amazon? | Get Elastic Says:

    [...] fitting to share a presentation from a web usability veteran – Jared Spool. His presentation Revealing Design Treasures From The Amazon is one of the best (and funniest) I’ve ever [...]

  6. Be More Like Amazon Says:

    [...] recently discovered a fantastic presentation on Amazon. In his 53 minute presentation Jarad Spool reveals the design secrets of Amazon. If you operate an online business, this is definitely for [...]

  7. Chris Says:

    Fantastic, extremely imformative..

    It is a presentation I will be sharing with my company, I have had so many times, we just want a website like Amazon but this explains just why and how their website works.

    Great Job, I will be sure to checkout your blog..

  8. This Week in Search for 11/12/09 | 248creative Blog Says:

    [...] Amazon Design Analysis: Just copy Amazon for e-commerce, right? Well, there are certainly reasons Amazon brought in 19 billion in revenue in 2008, but before you borrow too heavily, Jared Spool’s SlideShare presentation analyzing Amazon design elements is worth a look. [...]

  9. Sam | Impact Media Says:

    An excellent presentation, thanks Jared.

    Goes to show that even the largest of eCommerce sites don’t always it right first time round but they keep trying and testing elements until they get there.

    Lots of good and informative information and well worth a watch.

  10. So You Wanna Do It Like Amazon? Says:

    [...] fitting to share a presentation from a web usability veteran – Jared Spool. His presentation Revealing Design Treasures From The Amazon is one of the best (and funniest) I’ve ever [...]

  11. weekend “reading”: amazon design philosophy | Climbing Mount Improbable Says:

    [...] [...]

  12. Why I'm Doing Project52 | E&J Design's Personal Challenge | E & J Design Says:

    [...] how inefficient my code is, how to make a better button, how to make an awesome blogazine by JSM, finding all the treasures in the Amazon by Jared Spool, or even how to think properly about your content by [...]

  13. The importance of user feedback | Experience Planner Says:

    [...] systems allow users to send feedback it does not mean that users will actually do it. In an interesting study about ecommerce, Jared Spool compared the number of reviews for the book Harry Potter 7 on different sites, [...]

  14. Design treasures from Amazon « Random Ramblings.. Says:

    [...]   [...]

  15. So You Wanna Do It Like Amazon? « Get Elastic Says:

    [...] fitting to share a presentation from a web usability veteran – Jared Spool. His presentation Revealing Design Treasures From The Amazon is one of the best (and funniest) I’ve ever [...]

  16. Fascinating presentation on site design – Dash30 Says:

    [...] Presentation: Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon » UIE Brain Sparks. This entry was written by Thomas, posted on February 4, 2010 at 11:41 pm, filed under Web [...]

  17. UIE’s Amazon Design Treasures Says:

    [...] in Uncategorized Presentation: Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon [...]

  18. Dra lärdom av Amazon Says:

    [...] veckan hittade jag en gammal (2009) underhållande föreläsning av Jared Spool om Amazon under namnet Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon. On its surface, just [...]

  19. June Roundup | UX Booth Says:

    [...] context of the iPad vs the iPhone. Keep an eye on UX Mag for an in-depth article on this topic. Presentation: Revealing Design Treasures from the AmazonAs designers, we need to know what Amazon does; as designers, we are all affected by Amazon. This [...]

  20. Use Some Elbow Grease With Your Product Reviews! | Fresh Says:

    [...] few weeks ago a bunch of us from eROI went to see Jared Spool present “Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon”. It was a fantastic presentation about some key learnings about e-commerce design from experiments [...]

  21. Colin Hall Says:

    Fabulous presentation. I would elaborate, but I don’t want to feature in any of your future presentations ;-)))


  22. Quora Says:

    Why does succeed with such poor UX design?…

    Jared Spool gives a great presentation about specifically what Amazon gets *right* and why it’s such a remarkable website. If you’re interested in this thread, you’ll be interested in this presentation.

  23. Give pods a chance « Dachis Group Collaboratory Says:

    [...] Treasures of the Amazon talk by Jared Spool highlights some of the design excellence that emerges from Amazon’s evolutionary approach. [...]

  24. Recall versus Recognition for Search | The Contrast Blog Says:

    [...] Design treasures from the Amazon – A peak into why works so well, and more importantly why you’re not [...]

  25. Quora Says:

    Why are Amazon’s web pages so cluttered?…

    They must have hit a local maxima by now. What if they should test something radically different against what the current product page design? Also, if anyone wants to learn more about Amazon’s approach to design, Jared Spools presentation called “Re…

  26. Koozai Mike Says:

    Great presentation. Amazon contiue to lead the way and although their website isn’t always the most visually existing it has a consistently strong design with lots of extra selling opportunities for customers.

  27. The need for a broader perspective in user experience design | Spark Says:

    [...] which has a history of slow, methodical evolution of its user [...]

  28. Quora Says:

    Where i can find books for User Experience case study books Especially for Banking and E-commerce portals?…

    I am not sure if there one place where you can find a list of resources. The first presentaion which came to my mind is by Jared Spool by Amazon (which is a great presentaion) :

  29. Asking Questions versus Giving Advice | The Intercom Blog Says:

    [...] above slide (from Jared Spool’s Design Treasures from the Amazon) shows how Amazon use a negative operating cycle to sell you a product they’ve yet to even pay [...]

  30. Instant Read Thermometer Says:

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