Design Question

One question I have is about using our widgets.  The descriptions are somewhat vague which could cause problems for users who are not very familiar with navigating sites.  The question I have is if the widgets and their descriptions are specific enough to get the task we are asking of them, try to find recommended albums,  done.

My hope and expectation is that the tests our group will be performing with the prototypes will answer this question.  I am sure every group member will ask a variety of different kinds of users.  This variety should show whether this concern is really going to be a problem for the majority of just a minority of users.

The test protocols I would use to figure this out would probably be interviewing.  This way we could ask the users specific questions to get the specific answers we need.  Also, maybe see how long it takes users to navigate the site and complete their assigned task.  This might help us figure out if users who understand or at least say they understand can really navigate on their own effectively.

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Design Question

As stated in other blog posts, it is unknowable whether or not people will want to engage with a customizable Amazon or if they prefer to buy things for stagnant webpage and save the customiazation for other things like news, weather, and other things on their homepage or whatever they use (if anything).   It would be  really interesting to see how people react to a more interactive Amazon site.

I think the ideal question to find the answer to is how much ability to customize can you preview to users without them feeling overwhelmed, ruining their browsing experience (like a pushy salesman at bestbuy), but still presenting the new features as available.  As with most online social experiences the ability to “lurk” is very attractive to some people, so that should be kept in mind.

Question about Usability

I was wondering whether what we are doing is going to be beneficial to Amazon Users? We might crate thousands of different prototypes and throw it out there but it might just not appeal to the user. Are people actually going to sit down and play around with the widgets at Amazon.com? Or for that matter will people actually sit down and create a customized web page for themselves at Amazon.com? There are many similar questions like these that i have in mind however they all boil down to one concept and that is; whether the usability of Amazon.com is good enough or do we need to do more to get more users to use the website and enjoy visiting the website?

I think a small survey can answer almost all the questions. We need to find users who intensively use Amazon.com to purchase music and other general products and ask them what they like or dislike about the usability aspect of Amazon.com. Once thats been answered we can explain what we are planning to do and based on our explanation we need to see peoples reaction. Are people interested in what we are saying? Do they like our idea? Do people actually want to spend hours on Amazon.com? Do they just want Amazon to be a website that sells products of do they want more from it?  Once all this has been answered we would know whether what we are doing will actually help users or not

Design Questions

The first question I have about our design is, are people really going to be interested in these sort of things when they come to amazon, or will the majority of people continue to use the site the same way as before? Basically I wonder how many people would actually use the widgets, and if there is an actual interest for them.I also wonder if people really want amazon to have a built in music player. would they prefer to just download the song from amazon and then import it to itunes,winamp, or whatever they use. The amazon player would have to be pretty nice to convince someone to switch from what they currently use to play music.

Design Question

I am very concerned users will not find a customizable homepage useful to them.  Since there are already so many pages out there that they might be able to find the same information elsewhere.  Also, I am worried users will not want to create a new account somewhere and make a new homepage, after making a homepage somewhere else like iGoogle.  So, during my paper prototype test I asked the person a few questions relating to customizable homepage.  For example, I asked them if they already had an account elsewhere, like iGoogle, and if they would be willing to create a new page.  I also asked them if our options were acceptable and easy to use, while they were creating their own homepage on the piece of paper.  I only ended up testing this out on one person so my findings are not scientific. However, my user was willing to try a new homepage on amazon.com and actually hadn’t set up any other homepages on iGoogle or anything else.

I was also worried that making things more complicated for the user would ruin their experience.  For example, one reason Google is so successful is because of its simplicity to use and it doesn’t clutter a bunch of information on one page.  Hopefully, having a customizable homepage on amazon does not ruin users experiences, which made amazon so successful in the first place.

Concern about our Conceptual Design

Looking at our design approach rises one major concern – Will users stray away from Amazon because of to much confusion?  The purpose of Amazon is an easy, flexible and very quick e-commerce site that people use to solely purchase goods and be recommended items that they may like to also then purchase.  Our implication of the personalized widgets/applications may make the e-commerce site to much of a social site and restrict Amazon’s customer scope.  Think about it, Facebook and MySpace, though both are very popular, still do not have every single internet user jumping on the band wagon.  So those individuals such as grandparents or even most parents that do not enjoy sociability websites and make up the majority of Amazon purchases may not like or new conceptual designs.

One way that we could address this important issue is by prompting an Amazon purchaser if they would enjoy the freedom to customize a homepage.  After a purchase made on Amazon we could send the purchaser an email of what we could offer them in the form of our widgets and see if they wold enjoy this customization.  We could ask them which they like the most and which they would actually use.

Question About the Project

Do users really want more from Amazon (A page they can customize to their liking), or do they just want to go there to shop and nothing else? How much do the users want to be involved with Amazon? Our group agreed that none of us liked how the main page was set up. There is way too many advertisements and nothing that can directly appeal to most buyers. But, if we put in a widgets page, we do not know if the user will use them or just go to Amazon buy their music and leave. If Amazon did put in the widgets I do not see them taking off right away. It might be one of those things that may get more popular over time. I do think though that it is a neat concept to turn a website that is strictly about purchases into a website where users can socialize with one another.

One way we could go about answering this question is take a group of people who have amazon accounts and asking them if they are happy with the way Amazon is set up now and what could Amazon possibly change to make it more directed toward their own interests. We could also ask them how important it is to  to be able to converse with other users with similar interests.