Yuxing Wu
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Amazon Books

Research and design work at Amazon.

 
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Amazon Books

Introduction

In the summer of 2017, I had the great opportunity to work as the User Research Assistant under Jason Levine, the Head of UX at Amazon.  I worked with Amazon Books team for designing a new service offering for children's books. As a user researcher,  I was responsible for evaluating the usability and communication of value proposition of the current design. 

Amazon Books Project

Over the course of 3 months, I worked on the user research, usability testing and final presentation of the research findings with 5 other student researchers. Ultimately, I provided with the following deliverables: 

  • Market Research Survey (450+ respondents)
  • User selection based on criteria
  • Remote usability studies (12 users, 3 per demographic)
  • Analysis of Usability Studies
  • Analysis of Survey Data
  • Heuristic Analysis Report of key findings 
  • Presentation of findings and recommendations for redesign

What I learned 

Through my experience of working on a industry level project, I became more customer-obsessed since I learned that the language we use in our designs are just as important as the pixels. Especially for a new product offering that I worked on, the branding and language of the website is crucial for customer acquisition. In real world, the design may have certain constraints it has to follow that may create friction in UX, but we can still polish the language and make sure two questions are communicated clearly - Why would the user want to try out the new product offering? And how does the it work?

To answer these questions, we need research to understanding the mental model of the users. This project also improved my ability to conduct large-scale user research that are very different than school projects. I became more research-focused. I learned how to utilize user research to learn about user reactions on cognitive, perceptual, and social levels. Coupling with usability studies for collecting deep, individual data, the two strageties provide comprehensive information to guide the direction of the product.

I also learned how to consider information architecture and content mapping from a designer point of view. Amazon is a very resourceful website that has a lot of information communicating to the user. How should the information of the new service offering be placed in the existing complex architecture is an important factor to consider in design. Wise visual design and clear structure of the website will help make the new offering easily discoverable for customers.