Usability Lessons to Learn from Amazon and eBay

posted by Kravvitz at 5:51 PM on May. 2nd, 2010

Categories: Forms, Usability & UX 0 comments

Areas where Amazon and eBay do better than other online retailers, which I've found while doing some online shopping recently, are in the features provided for search refinement in both, and wish lists on Amazon.

Search Refinement

The first that comes to mind is that Amazon and eBay provide a way for shoppers to choose their own price range to look at. Amazon also suggests a few ranges, but one is not limited to those.

A second feature that comes to mind is that these sites allow you to look at multiple options under some option types. For example, you can pick which brands you're interested in when searching for shoes or clothing. Another example is that on eBay you can look at all items that are listed in New or Like New condition but ignore the ones in only "good condition".

Also on Amazon a buyer can see items that free shipping is offered for and other special options at the same time. On NewEgg, however, it's not obvious that a consumer can do that as well since you can only select a single item at a time from the drop-down list.

Wish Lists

Amazon's wish lists are great. With just two clicks on a product page, a shopper can add an item to any of his lists (or with a little more input, create a new one). Moving and copying items between lists is also a breeze.

This is in stark contrast to NewEgg where one clicks on the "add to wish list" button and then has to select which list should be used and select which items should be added to it, regardless of how many lists or items there are. Wouldn't it be so much easier if by default all of the items were selected and if there was only one list, it would be selected too? Also, as far as I can tell, there is no way to copy an item, one just has to add it again to another list. Similarly to move an item, one has to delete it from the first list and then add it to another list.

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