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Tier I: Structure

As with all Web applications, the success of Amazon’s interface relies on the integrity of its structural components. In addition to the normal difficulty of creating a strong conceptual and structural model, the variety of Amazon’s product offerings presents a unique challenge for the design of the organizational model. Whether users have a satisfying experience of “Earth’s Biggest Selection” ultimately relies on their ability to simply find their way around.

Layer 1: Conceptual Model

At the base of Amazon’s interface is the conceptual model of a reference catalog. As opposed to magazine style-catalogs designed for browsing and exploration, reference catalogs, such as office supply or auto part catalogs, are optimized for directed, product-specific searches. The model is particularly appropriate and useful for fairly uniform product categories, such as books, music, and video, because users refer to those products by a unique title.


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