Removing words from Amazon's menu

almost 9 years ago from , Designer

I wonder why Amazon keeps the "your" in front of so many links in the account navigation. It would probably be more usable and faster to scan without them:

A cleaner Amazon menu


  • Manik RatheeManik Rathee, almost 9 years ago

    With Amazon's testing culture, I would be willing to bet that that a/b tested this and 'Your' heavily won over the rest of the variations.

    Many of their 'controversial' or 'undesigned' implementations were data driven.

    32 points
    • David SimpsonDavid Simpson, almost 9 years ago

      Ya I would have to agree, they must have had significant data supporting this decision.

      I bet not having the word "Your" in front of all of them led people to believe they might not be logged in, or perhaps that they didn't have access to certain features.

      4 points
    • Jared CJared C, almost 9 years ago

      Completely agree. In fact I was about to post nearly the same thing.

      Good example of something that might not look "right" to us as designers, but actually performs well.

      2 points
    • Erol Ahmed, almost 9 years ago

      Even though what Amazon is doing runs a bit askew to what Nielsen would consider better usability for links, you are right that Amazon isn't capricious when it comes to most things, and this probably tested well (or at least was a "51%" winner!).

      2 points
    • Willie MorrisWillie Morris, almost 9 years ago

      Being a former senior designer at Amazon, I can attest to this. Often times testing shows that what we, as designers, think look better doesn't perform better. Yay data!

      4 points
  • Shawn BorskyShawn Borsky, almost 9 years ago

    I would have to disagree.

    I believe Amazon thought about this more than it seems. It does help remind the customer that this menu refers to "Your" things. Without that label, this could easily refer to a ton of other sections on the site. Especially sections like "Cloud Drive, Prime Instant Video, Prime Membership" seems more like they refer to marketing pages for those things. You could argue that its under the "Your Account" section but I would bet that plenty of customers would ignore or miss that because its such a minimal part of the menu.

    One thing you get while "scanning" is an overwhelming sense that this menu controls "Your" things on Amazon. Its more clear, which I think is more usable.

    10 points
    • Eduardo Ramirez HolguinEduardo Ramirez Holguin, almost 9 years ago

      I agree with Shawn. It's redundant, sure, but it also completely clarifies the nav items. Even very rudimentary users understand those refer to them and not any general thing while removing them could leave this unclear.

      0 points
    • News TodayNews Today, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

      Not sure how it makes it more usable when nearly all the items are "Yours".

      1 point
      • Shawn BorskyShawn Borsky, almost 9 years ago

        Just about every option that has "Yours" attached clarifies what the link refers to. Just because something has less text doesn't make it easier to understand.

        I agree that its wordy and the adjusted menu looks better, that doesn't make it more usable.

        The difference between "Prime Music" and "Your Prime Music" is important. If you don't say "Your" the customer needs to think about whether it goes to the Prime Music home/search page or my list of music. I could make that argument for most options on this menu. The proximity of other "Your" options alone is not enough to communicate where each link goes.

        1 point
  • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, almost 9 years ago

    Interesting. I get using the word 'Your' and personalizing an experience and putting ownership in a customer's hands, but yeah there is a point of overkill. And Amazon's usage is overkill. Anytime I'm looking for something in my account (usually Orders, History, or Wishlist) I quickly get lost in the piles and piles of text.

    I also get that adding 'Your' can help distinguish between the 'Games & Software' marketing section of the site and the 'Games & Software' that you as a customer owns. But that should be obvious as the 'Your' items are listed under the 'Your Account' tab. It's redundant.

    Thanks for creating the cool gif!

    8 points
    • Erol Ahmed, almost 9 years ago

      I had the same issue, too — always scanning past "your" to get to the more useful text in the link.

      1 point
  • Ragnar VorelRagnar Vorel, almost 9 years ago

    On a completely different topic, but ties in well with the whole usability discussion of the dropdown here.

    What I find annoying is the way the "Your account" dropdown works… every time I hover it, I expect the dropdown to appear, but the damn thing has a delay. So when it doesn't instantly appear with the hover, I subconsciously click on the button to make it appear.

    And then of course, the dropdown appears but I only see it for a second before I get taken to my account page.

    And like this every single time. I think that's bad usability… why the delay? Why not just make it appear the moment I hover it?

    TL;DR: That hover delay is bs.

    2 points
  • News TodayNews Today, almost 9 years ago

    I think people OVERESTIMATE how much "thinking" goes on at companies like Amazon, etc. This is a huge site that a lot of different people/departments manage. I wouldn't be surprised if this is just "menu bloat" from years of new account features.

    2 points
  • Joey BrennanJoey Brennan, almost 9 years ago

    Sure it was A/B tested, but did they A/B test the best options? Did they even think of the best options? Should we be giving in to exactly what the data/user wants? Or should we serve them what they need to be more efficient?

    Great design change can often be disliked at first because it goes against the grain, but once it becomes understood and customary it can greatly improve lives. Small adjustments like this implemented all over Amazons site could save people time and make more sales.

    0 points
  • Conlin "Wuz" DurbinConlin "Wuz" Durbin, almost 9 years ago

    There is a lotofinformationaboutthis. Some really interesting ideas.

    0 points
  • Ulrich Boulon, almost 9 years ago

    Haha! Yesterday I realised how long this menu item was...Actually in my head I assumes that my messages would be accessible from there by seeing how long it is.

    I reckon the Lovefilm (Amazon Instant) and Music sections should sit as another hierarchy. I don't know why Amazon wants us to believe that ordering physical products and consuming online should be a part of the same experience. I guess they don't want to be as bad as Apple with iCloud, iTunes, Apps store, Apple store, etc. which are providing complete heterogeneous experiences...

    0 points
  • Jack ElliotJack Elliot, almost 9 years ago

    One has to ask themselves if this is really a design decision or product decision... though in most organizations, including my own, it would almost definitely fall on design, for better or for worse.

    0 points
  • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, almost 9 years ago

    You've raised an interesting question here. Most of the good arguments have already been posted so I'm just going to say that I'm glad to see there are some good posts on this site!

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, almost 9 years ago

    You will be surprised of that many things that sites doesn't cover at all. In fact, many of the development aren't covered as you may think. Who knows? maybe that menu is a corporate dispute.

    I never deployed something who wasn't approved by the company. How can you prove something is better if you want to go contra-corriente.

    0 points
  • Asad DhamaniAsad Dhamani, almost 9 years ago

    So much better.

    0 points
  • Abriel Shipley, almost 9 years ago

    Just thought about this the other day! I definitely agree with Caleb on everything he said.

    Another thing about this navigation... Is it just me or is it confusing to have "Not ___" in front of the Sign Out button?

    0 points
  • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 9 years ago

    Wow, yes that is so much easier to read!

    Also, you missed 2. "Manage your content..." and "Change your charity"

    0 points