The design theory behind amazon’s $5.6 billion success

by MR Magazine Staff

Amazon is undoubtedly the most significant force in the digital transformation of commerce: an estimated 44% of all online sales are on Amazon, and more than one in three U.S. adults are estimated to be Amazon Prime members. The company had $5.6 billion in income last year (none of which went to the federal government, controversially), and 95% of current Prime subscribers say they’ll either “definitely” or “probably” renew. Yet few credit the role design has played in the company’s success. If you read Amazon’s famous leadership principles, only two—”Customer Obsession” and “Invent and Simplify”—are correlated with a designerly way of developing products and services And they don’t even explicitly talk about design. From an aesthetic point of view, Amazon’s web store is neither simple nor beautiful–two things we expect of good design. Instead, it focuses on simplicity of experience, process, and functionality. For many designers, the idea that an experience with Amazon’s visual complexity succeeds is somewhat confounding. So, how might a designer look at Amazon to understand why it works, despite—if not because of—its aesthetic? Amazon’s design succeeds because it makes use of four key principles that all great shopping experiences embody—whether digital or physical, luxury, or low-cost. Read more at Fast Company.