All About Website Usability Blog – Holly Phillips

Amazon should know better
July 16, 2009, 10:33 pm
Filed under: usability basics

I love Amazon, both as a great store and as an example of some of the best usability advances around.  That’s why this one area bugs me so much. 

Go to Amazon’s homepage and try to log in.  Here’s what you see:

Amazon log-in

Amazon log-in

Hmmm.  There’s a nice sentence telling me to “Sign in to get personalized recommendations.”  But the words “sign in” aren’t a hyperlink, and there’s no link called “sign in” or “log in” anywhere to be seen.  To make matters worse, there IS a link for new customers.  But I’m an existing customer – shouldn’t it be just as easy for me to log in?  Maybe they care about new customers more than me.

In any case, I’ve used this page dozens of times and always resorted to clicking either the new customer “start here” link, or the “your account” link in order to log in.  They both work, but it sure isn’t obvious and irks me every time.  I just discovered that the “personalized recommendations” link also leads to a log in screen.  But I’ve avoided that in the past because I didn’t really want recommendations – just wanted to log in so I could buy my stuff.

Amazon, shame on you.  You clearly know how important it is to provide good scent with linknames, and clearly understand the value of repeat customers.  If only you’ d make the words “Sign in” in that first sentence into a hyperlink, you’d immediately remove all this confusion and frustration.  And confusion and frustration are the last things you want to put between your customer and a sale.


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