Amazon – Our Eye Tracking Review

March 12, 2009 2:44 pm

Amazon – Our Eye Tracking Review

Our team  conducted an eye tracking review of the new Amazon website for the February edition of Internet Retailing Magazine. The article can be read here: Amazon Eye Tracking Article

The participants of our research showed that when using they had to use different navigation strategies depending on what they were looking for. Amazon’s diversified product range has resulted in a more complicated structure with users having to adapt to understand the categories in order to successfully find a product. Overall the site performed well, apart from some serious frustrations with the menu structure.

Our testers were asked to find a book as a gift for a child that they knew and also to buy a replacement kettle for their home. Users were allowed to naturally carry out the tasks and eye tracking data was collected using a non-invasive eye tracking monitor.

Users were very quickly drawn to the left hand navigation or to the top search box with an even split between these two staring points. Users alternated between the two depending on the product that they were looking for.

‘Books’ is the top category on the left hand side, so users often looked to this title in the left hand navigation. Many users clicked on ‘Books’, expecting to be taken to the book section, eye tracking showed us that many failed to notice the sub-menu which had appeared to the right of this title, which required the user to click on another title called ‘Books’.

When using the left hand navigation to find a replacement kettle, some users clicked ‘Home and Garden’ then ‘Appliances’, and others clicked into ‘Kitchen and Dining’ or ‘Electronics’. Many users searched for the word ‘kettle’ from the top search box, but only a few noticed the suggested terms that appeared below the search box as they typed. The top blank search box was a visually strong device, attracting a lot of attention from users.

When looking for a suitable book, users were quickly drawn to the book titles and if a lot were displayed on a page, the user relied on the left hand navigation to filter the selection by age group. In contrast, when looking for a kettle, users scanned the page using the thumbnail photographs to make initial selections. Sorting by type of kettle was not always available to the user because it was dependent on the route they had taken to their current page.


SimpleUsability have been providing expert eye tracking advice for the readers of  Internet Retailing Magazine since 2009.