Amazon-Sponsored Browse-Based Shopping Comparison



Class project for HCDE 517: Usability Studies in Winter 2017, as part of the Master’s level User Centered Design certificate at the University of Washington. All content presented here was cleared by our Amazon collaborator.


To discover what motivates people to shop on browse-based sites such as and, and to distinguish which features enhance or detract from the experience.


In progress. Over the course of 12 weeks, we will design and execute user testing, analyze the data, and report to stakeholders.


Lu Gan, Samantha Muscat-Scherr, Padma Ravikumar, Lorraine Sawicki

my contributions

  • Designed interaction map which compared features of the two sites being studied, with content help from team members
  • Collaborated on creating study plan and testing materials
  • Took a primary role in recruiting and scheduling participants
  • Facilitated interviews and contextual inquiries for some sessions, took notes during others
  • Collaborated with group to analyze data using affinity mapping and other methods
  • Planned presentation structure/flow, designed slides, included jokes
  • Group presented findings in front of a group of classmates, and gave an extended presentation for Amazon stakeholders
  • Wrote 3 of 12 report sections and was responsible for final formatting

completed tasks

project proposal

We described the product, client and target user group, and began to form questions that we were interested in investigating over the course of our study.


Our group worked together to do an initial comparison of the features of and I then organized this information into a graphic that we could refer to throughout the project.


study planning

With our professor and project sponsor, we refined our research questions and decided on our study methods. We worked out the logistics of location, facilitation, data evaluation and reporting and created the documentation forms we would need to record our data.

user tests

In pairs, we conducted 10 one-hour sessions consisting of a semi structured interview about participants’ shopping habits and attitudes, a think aloud browsing session to gain insight about how the user typically uses their preferred site, and follow up questions based on our observations.


We started with an affinity diagramming session, where we were able to solidify certain initial impressions and discover some additional common behaviors and attitudes.


We presented our findings in class, and then gave an extended presentation to a select group of Amazon stakeholders on the Amazon campus.


Our group prepared a written report including a comprehensive overview of our findings, design recommendations, questions for future research, and a user journey map.

Skills: UX
Client: UW UCD Certificate Program - HCDE 517