Where is the "Sign In" on Amazon.com?

30 Jun 2009 - 9:38am
5 years ago
25 replies
1693 reads
russwilson
2005

I always stumble when signing in to Amazon (I may be the only one, I don't
know).
Does anyone have any background information on why they chose to break with
convention (for signing in)? See my very small post on this --

http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/06/29/where-is-the-sign-in-on-amazon-com/

--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

Comments

30 Jun 2009 - 10:05am
Anne Hjortshoj
2007

I'd be willing to bet it's a direct reflection of their registration
process, which (I think?) follows the more -recent- convention of
"don't make the user register until there's a clear benefit to doing
so," i.e., until there's a clear contextual reason to do so -- buying
a book, for example, or saving items to a wish list.

What's the benefit of an obvious call to sign in, vs. the way Amazon
currently does this? Other than the sense that having a sign-in button
is a convention and something that people (or specifically, web
designers) expect?

-Anne

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:38 AM, Russell Wilson<russ.wilson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I always stumble when signing in to Amazon (I may be the only one, I don't
> know).
> Does anyone have any background information on why they chose to break with
> convention (for signing in)?  See my very small post on this --
>
> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/06/29/where-is-the-sign-in-on-amazon-com/
>
>
> --------
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Anne Hjortshoj | anne.hj at gmail.com | www.annehj.com | Skype: anne-hj

30 Jun 2009 - 10:12am
Diego Moya
2005

Maybe they have read *this* and wanted to collect their $300,000,000...

The $300 Million Button
http://www.uie.com/articles/three_hund_million_button

(Short answer: forcing buyers to register cost sales, so that
convention doesn't work for stores).

30 Jun 2009 - 10:24am
Bill Tyler
2007

Jared Spool (UIE) has talked about Amazon's security model and the levels of how "Amazon knows you." It's part of his recent video prezo "Presentation: Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon" ( http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2009/06/01/presentation-revealing-design-... )

Essentially Amazon holds off asking for you to sign in until (they think it's) absolutely necessary. It sets a cookie for some operations but doesn't do the sign in until you're accessing your account (for a purchase). For most people this avoids providing a lot of unnecessary disclosure and Jared's talked about it for some time.

For myself, I don't frequent Amazon heavily but it's rarely bothered me in the least since, when I'm simply searching for stuff the last thing I want is to sign in. In fact, what I find annoying is that I HAVE to sign in to check deliver status. I'd prefer the session cookie remember me and eliminate the need to sign in (again).

30 Jun 2009 - 10:15am
russwilson
2005

But I'm not talking about "forcing" people to register to buy... I just want
an easy way to log in that doesn't break with convention and force me to
think about it every time...
I totally agree that you should be able to buy something without
registering.

--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Diego Moya <turingt at gmail.com> wrote:

> Maybe they have read *this* and wanted to collect their $300,000,000...
>
> The $300 Million Button
> http://www.uie.com/articles/three_hund_million_button
>
> (Short answer: forcing buyers to register cost sales, so that
> convention doesn't work for stores).
>

30 Jun 2009 - 10:40am
russwilson
2005

I'm guessing that "signing in" is an abstract step along the path to what
the use really wants and they are attempting to bypass it. In other words,
as a user I never really want to "sign in" - what I want is to look at past
orders or see personalized recommendations. BUT, signing in is so much a
part of popular convention that it is expected. Amazon's way may
theoretically be better but it forces users to retrain themselves and modify
their behavior/thought process for Amazon's site versus other sites.
--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Diego Moya <turingt at gmail.com> wrote:

> Maybe they have read *this* and wanted to collect their $300,000,000...
>
> The $300 Million Button
> http://www.uie.com/articles/three_hund_million_button
>
> (Short answer: forcing buyers to register cost sales, so that
> convention doesn't work for stores).
>

30 Jun 2009 - 10:53am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

If you click the "personalized recommendations" link it takes you to
sign in. Why not make the "sign in" text a link instead? I have no
idea who did this or what their thinking was.

My only guess would be they might have information that more of their
audience behaves like I do... that is, I never sign in until I'm ready
to check out. I've never even noticed or thought about a sign in link
on Amazon until you pointed it out. I always browse first, then sign
in only when I think I actually need something, and the point I do
that is always at the start of the checkout process.

But it's speculation. Someone from Amazon would need to chime in.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Chief Design Officer, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

30 Jun 2009 - 10:57am
Amy Silvers
2007

I'm always signed in (at the most basic level of recognition) on
Amazon, so I had to check to see what the experience looks like if
you've signed out. There is an explicit sign-in link, though the
linked part of the sentence mentions personalized recommendations
rather than "sign in." It's at top center rather than top right,
which is a little unconventional, but it's still noticeable--and the
way it's phrased ("Sign in to get personalized recommendations")
calls out the main benefit of signing in if you're just browsing:
the recommendations. Otherwise, unless you're checking order status,
it seems to me that there's no obvious benefit to signing in until
you check out, so there's no particular need for a sign-in link.

If you are checking something to do with an order, payment, refund,
etc., clicking Your Account instead of Sign In seems natural enough.
The sign-in area on the main account page is clearly set off from the
rest of the page. In general, I like the fact that you aren't
prompted to sign in until you need to.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43262

30 Jun 2009 - 10:58am
Scott McDaniel
2007

Is the problem you're seeing (and I totally get) because Amazon spells
out "Sign In" prior to and apart from
the actions?

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:40 AM, Russell Wilson<russ.wilson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm guessing that "signing in" is an abstract step along the path to what
> the use really wants and they are attempting to bypass it. In other words,
> as a user I never really want to "sign in" - what I want is to look at past
> orders or see personalized recommendations. BUT, signing in is so much a
> part of popular convention that it is expected. Amazon's way may
> theoretically be better but it forces users to retrain themselves and modify
> their behavior/thought process for Amazon's site versus other sites.
> --------

30 Jun 2009 - 11:01am
russwilson
2005

Essentially yes. My first thought always is to want to click "sign in".
When I can't I look to see if I'm already signed in. When I realize I'm
not, I look for a "sign in" link... and when I don't find that I click any
of the links in order to "sign in"...
Maybe I'm crazy... :-)

--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:58 AM, Scott McDaniel <scott at scottopic.com>wrote:

> Is the problem you're seeing (and I totally get) because Amazon spells
> out "Sign In" prior to and apart from
> the actions?
>
>
> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:40 AM, Russell Wilson<russ.wilson at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > I'm guessing that "signing in" is an abstract step along the path to what
> > the use really wants and they are attempting to bypass it. In other
> words,
> > as a user I never really want to "sign in" - what I want is to look at
> past
> > orders or see personalized recommendations. BUT, signing in is so much a
> > part of popular convention that it is expected. Amazon's way may
> > theoretically be better but it forces users to retrain themselves and
> modify
> > their behavior/thought process for Amazon's site versus other sites.
> > --------
>

30 Jun 2009 - 11:08am
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

It's "Your Account" link. The landing page shows all possible options
upfront (including "Sign In" box). I think its clever, never had problems
with that.

Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:38 AM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:

> I always stumble when signing in to Amazon (I may be the only one, I don't
> know).
> Does anyone have any background information on why they chose to break with
> convention (for signing in)? See my very small post on this --
>
> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/06/29/where-is-the-sign-in-on-amazon-com/
>
>
> --------
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

30 Jun 2009 - 11:12am
russwilson
2005

I think a big part of the problem is:
Hello. Sign in to get personalized
recommendations<http://www.amazon.com/gp/yourstore/ref=pd_irl_gw?ie=UTF8&signIn=1>.
New customer? Start
here<http://www.amazon.com/gp/flex/sign-out.html/ref=pd_irl_gw_r?ie=UTF8&path=%2Fgp%2Fyourstore&signIn=1&useRedirectOnSuccess=1&action=sign-out>
.

The linking seems off (I expect "Sign in" to be a link)

--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>wrote:

> It's "Your Account" link. The landing page shows all possible options
> upfront (including "Sign In" box). I think its clever, never had problems
> with that.
>
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is design of time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>
>
> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:38 AM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> I always stumble when signing in to Amazon (I may be the only one, I don't
>> know).
>> Does anyone have any background information on why they chose to break
>> with
>> convention (for signing in)? See my very small post on this --
>>
>> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/06/29/where-is-the-sign-in-on-amazon-com/
>>
>>
>> --------
>> Russell Wilson
>> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
>> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>

30 Jun 2009 - 11:54am
Medina
2009

The problem is that while "sign in to get personalized recommendations" is at the top left of the landing page, "personalized recommendations" links to the sign in page...linking the words "personalized recommendations" in this manner leads the user to believe that clicking on "personalized recommendations" will somehow offer them more info on "personalized recommendations".

The "sign in" portion of the sentence should instead be the link to the sign in page...I use the site often as do most people on this site I'm sure, yet I'm often confused each time I attempt to log in to my account after a period of absence.

30 Jun 2009 - 3:29pm
Grant Fritts
2009

I'm a regular Amazon user and I've encountered this as well from time to time...usually when trying to get to my lists....I think part of the problem for me is that the visual indicators that you ARE signed-in are very subtle. Just as there is not a clear call to action for sign-in, the changes in the interface when you are signed-in are minimal. I'd also prefer to be signed into the more personalized/streamlined "Grant's amazon.com" every time I return as an an authenticated user....

30 Jun 2009 - 11:51am
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Hello. Sign in to get personalized
recommendations<http://www.amazon.com/gp/yourstore/ref=pd_irl_gw?ie=UTF8&signIn=1>.

Yes, that "looks like" noise (they might have quantified the impact in A/B
tests, I assume foolishly).

New customer? Start
here<http://www.amazon.com/gp/flex/sign-out.html/ref=pd_irl_gw_r?ie=UTF8&path=%2Fgp%2Fyourstore&signIn=1&useRedirectOnSuccess=1&action=sign-out>
.

This could have been grouped with My Account link.

Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think a big part of the problem is:
> Hello. Sign in to get personalized recommendations<http://www.amazon.com/gp/yourstore/ref=pd_irl_gw?ie=UTF8&signIn=1>.
> New customer? Start here<http://www.amazon.com/gp/flex/sign-out.html/ref=pd_irl_gw_r?ie=UTF8&path=%2Fgp%2Fyourstore&signIn=1&useRedirectOnSuccess=1&action=sign-out>
> .
>
> The linking seems off (I expect "Sign in" to be a link)
>
>
>
>
>
> --------
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>
>
> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>
>> It's "Your Account" link. The landing page shows all possible options
>> upfront (including "Sign In" box). I think its clever, never had problems
>> with that.
>>
>> Oleh Kovalchuke
>> Interaction Design is design of time
>> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:38 AM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:
>>
>>> I always stumble when signing in to Amazon (I may be the only one, I
>>> don't
>>> know).
>>> Does anyone have any background information on why they chose to break
>>> with
>>> convention (for signing in)? See my very small post on this --
>>>
>>> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/06/29/where-is-the-sign-in-on-amazon-com/
>>>
>>>
>>> --------
>>> Russell Wilson
>>> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
>>> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
>>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>
>>
>

30 Jun 2009 - 11:40am
Daniel Zollman
2009

I agree. The key problem for me is that Amazon is the only site where
I have to click on "My Account" before signing in rather than
after. Until I got used to that, I would look around the page for a
sign in link, confused about whether or not I was authenticated.

Another problem I had, which came with knowing how cookies work, is
that I wasn't sure whether changes to my shopping would be saved if
I didn't hunt down that login form. (Of course Amazon wanted me to
edit my cart without logging in at all, but took me a while to
realize that. In addition, I expect and intend that websites will
forget me when I close my browser.)

I guess you have to think a certain way for this to be a problem, and
it probably doesn't ultimately drive any customers away.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43262

30 Jun 2009 - 11:11am
Etienne Maujean
2009

In fact, common users don't look for a "sign in"button, because
they don't think like experts.

Their main goal is to actually do something on the site (like edit
their account settings for example) but they don't know if they
would have to sign in before doing it, and honestly, they don't
care. They look for the thing they want to do, and see if they have
to sign in.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43262

30 Jun 2009 - 1:42pm
Lauren Martin
2008

I agree with you Russell. I find this very annoying and I am a
frequent Amazon shopper. I know better, but I still find my self
having to take note of where and how to log in because it is not
intuitive.

I agree with Medina, they are not setting proper expectations. People
scan websites, and read link text more than regular page text. When I
scan the header I read "Personalized Recommendations" which I
visualize as a list of recommended products, not a login screen.

As far as the reference to Spools 3 million dollar change, I agree
that users shouldn't be forced to login, but that can be solved by
simply not requiring it. Making the login hard to spot and not
immediately recognizable only makes it harder for current customers
to log in.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43262

3 Jul 2009 - 12:06am
force10x
2009

Interesting. I thought I was the only one having this issue with
Amazon.com.

Another issue I have is with the "Sign out", which again they
don't have. instead Amazon prefers (Not XYZ?)

Being different for different sake???

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43262

6 Jul 2009 - 8:51am
Eva Kaniasty
2007

I've had the same problem with Amazon, and had to actually train myself to
look for that other link when I have to sign in (which has been sometimes
necessary, if, for example, i want to see a wish list, but am on an
unfamiliar computer).

I don't buy the idea that users don't look for sign-in. I'd be more
inclined to believe that sign-in has become a convention in itself that
anyone who has used the web for any length of time is familiar with.
Whether or not it conceptually makes sense to sign in first, I think users
become trained to do things a certain way without thinking about it, and
removing that functionality seems off-base. I am not arguing that sign-in
shouldn't be seamlessly integrated into checkout as well, I just think that
it doesn't make sense to remove it as a separate function.

-eva

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 5:11 AM, Etienne <etienne.maujean at gmail.com> wrote:

> In fact, common users don't look for a "sign in"button, because
> they don't think like experts.
>
> Their main goal is to actually do something on the site (like edit
> their account settings for example) but they don't know if they
> would have to sign in before doing it, and honestly, they don't
> care. They look for the thing they want to do, and see if they have
> to sign in.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43262
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

7 Jul 2009 - 2:18am
cfmdesigns
2004

On Jul 6, 2009, at 6:51 AM, eva kaniasty wrote:

> I don't buy the idea that users don't look for sign-in. I'd be more
> inclined to believe that sign-in has become a convention in itself
> that
> anyone who has used the web for any length of time is familiar with.
> Whether or not it conceptually makes sense to sign in first, I think
> users
> become trained to do things a certain way without thinking about it,
> and
> removing that functionality seems off-base. I am not arguing that
> sign-in
> shouldn't be seamlessly integrated into checkout as well, I just
> think that
> it doesn't make sense to remove it as a separate function.

I completely buy it. I've never looked for a sign in option at Amazon

We talk about (gripe about) software coders who create UIs that serve
their programmatic model rather than the user? Well, you're doing the
same thing here: "I know that a user is going to have to sign in to
complete the transaction, so I want to know where that control is and
how it operates and how to sign out."

But what Amazon arguably wants to be is a Wal*Mart (god forgive me for
saying so!). At such a store, by walking in the door, you are
assumed to be a customer, someone who is going to buy something, even
if that's just a candy bar. They don't have a guard at the door
saying "What's your name? Show me your credit card!", but instead
they have someone saying "Welcome to the store! Enjoy shopping!"

By assuming that if you're there, you're going to buy something -- and
if not this time, the next one -- they take that "Show me your ID"
gruffness out of the equation, saving it for the time when it is
actually needed, at the purchase transaction. And in doing so, they
remove/reduce the opportunities for users to get fed up with the
questioning and just leave.

And in contrast, today I did my monthly visit to the Science Fiction
Book Club website to say "Nope, don't what this month's offered books,
don't send them." This site *doesn't* remember that I've been there
before. So I have to go to the upper right corner to sign in -- to a
link usually partially off-screen because they assume I'll have a non-
portrait shaped browser window (but I do), rather than a username/
password control. And that takes me to a page where I have to choose
either to Sign In or create a new account -- again, not to a username/
password control. And that takes me to a username/password control...
which have my saved credentials already filled in. Talk about wanting
the returning customer to feel like they are annoying you! (Actually,
I fib slightly. That's the flow from a couple months ago. they've at
least merged the 2nd and 3rd screens, which reduces the annoyance by a
factor of 2, but they still don't put it on the front page or sign me
in automatically, still making it 4 times as annoying as Amazon's
method.)

-- Jim

7 Jul 2009 - 7:56am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jul 7, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Jim Drew wrote:

> [...] by walking in the door, you are assumed to be a customer,
> someone who is going to buy something, even if that's just a candy
> bar. They don't have a guard at the door saying "What's your name?
> Show me your credit card!", but instead they have someone saying
> "Welcome to the store! Enjoy shopping!"

Perfect example.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

7 Jul 2009 - 8:35am
Anne Hjortshoj
2007

I think also that, as UI designers, we're over-aware of patterns like
"signing in" to see certain things upon arriving at a given site
(because we've all worked on this kind of site so often, and executed
this pattern).

This discussion seems to indicate that our own baked-in experiences
can lead us to avoid innovating.

Sometimes our training can lead us to think in ways that users don't.
Something to watch out for, I think.

-Anne

On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel<lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
>
> On Jul 7, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Jim Drew wrote:
>
>> [...] by walking in the door, you are assumed to be a customer, someone
>> who is going to buy something, even if that's just a candy bar.  They don't
>> have a guard at the door saying "What's your name?  Show me your credit
>> card!", but instead they have someone saying "Welcome to the store!  Enjoy
>> shopping!"
>
> Perfect example.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> Principal Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice:  (215) 825-7423
> Email:  todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM:    twarfel at mac.com
> Blog:   http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter:        zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Anne Hjortshoj | anne.hj at gmail.com | www.annehj.com | Skype: anne-hj

7 Jul 2009 - 9:00am
Joshua Porter
2007

On Jul 7, 2009, at 8:56 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

>
> On Jul 7, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Jim Drew wrote:
>
>> [...] by walking in the door, you are assumed to be a customer,
>> someone who is going to buy something, even if that's just a candy
>> bar. They don't have a guard at the door saying "What's your
>> name? Show me your credit card!", but instead they have someone
>> saying "Welcome to the store! Enjoy shopping!"
>
> Perfect example.

I agree...a good example of how useful it can be to think about
interaction design from a f2f standpoint. What would an ideal
interaction like this happen if it were to happen in f2f...?

Then, how can you design/write copy to reflect that ideal interaction?

Josh

Joshua Porter, Founder
Bokardo Design
Interface design & strategy for social web applications
phone: 508-954-1896
http://bokardo.com
porter at bokardo.com
twitter: bokardo

7 Jul 2009 - 9:42am
tonyzeoli
2008

Interesting, but I completely disagree. By removing anything that remotely
signals the user to "sign in" is to assume that all users will live with and
grasp the fact that "sign in" is not called "sign in."

Here's my issue. Fine to give the perception I am Amazon.com and I welcome
you without asking you for your credentials. Not fine, in that Amazon
heavily promotes their recommendation engine, but you must be signed in to
get an accurate view of those recommendations or to see what you previously
purchased.

Because I don't shop at Amazon and the site is intensely text heavy, I keep
missing the Welcome to Amazon.com "your name should go here but it doesn't
because it doesn't know your name yet" feature, which says next to it, "if
you're not, click here." If you're not what? If you're not you? If you're
not who? Then, if you actually do click through, the next page has a "Sign
In" graphic.

Why not say "Sign In, if you're not," right? I thought in interaction
design, we're not supposed to be about assumptions? We're supposed to make
it clear to the user this is where you sign in.

Just those two words alone save someone a world of headache when trying to
figure out how to sign in.

Amazon is not Wall-Mart, in the sense that it's not a physical store. When
you walk into Wal-Mart, the cash registers are at the front of the store for
a reason. They aren't just there to take your money when you leave, but to
indicate to you on arrival that you may have to go through them at a later
point in time, should you need to.

If you want to talk supermarkets, I love the Whole Foods register area,
where you stand in a line and the system shows you on the screen above which
register is open for you at that very moment, so you don't have to scan 40
yellow lights to see which on is off at that very moment.

Does Whole Foods need to display this information? No, they don't. Other
supermarkets don't, but they live in the past. Clear, concise information
that leads you to where you either want to go or didn't realize you needed
to go, but now have information to make that choice, better serves the
customer.

When I forget how to log in to Amazon, I get frustrated. I should not get
frustrated by this process. There should be no resistance at that point of
egress.

On 7/7/09 3:18 AM, "Jim Drew" <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:

>
> On Jul 6, 2009, at 6:51 AM, eva kaniasty wrote:
>
>> I don't buy the idea that users don't look for sign-in. I'd be more
>> inclined to believe that sign-in has become a convention in itself
>> that
>> anyone who has used the web for any length of time is familiar with.
>> Whether or not it conceptually makes sense to sign in first, I think
>> users
>> become trained to do things a certain way without thinking about it,
>> and
>> removing that functionality seems off-base. I am not arguing that
>> sign-in
>> shouldn't be seamlessly integrated into checkout as well, I just
>> think that
>> it doesn't make sense to remove it as a separate function.
>
>
> I completely buy it. I've never looked for a sign in option at Amazon
>
> We talk about (gripe about) software coders who create UIs that serve
> their programmatic model rather than the user? Well, you're doing the
> same thing here: "I know that a user is going to have to sign in to
> complete the transaction, so I want to know where that control is and
> how it operates and how to sign out."
>
> But what Amazon arguably wants to be is a Wal*Mart (god forgive me for
> saying so!). At such a store, by walking in the door, you are
> assumed to be a customer, someone who is going to buy something, even
> if that's just a candy bar. They don't have a guard at the door
> saying "What's your name? Show me your credit card!", but instead
> they have someone saying "Welcome to the store! Enjoy shopping!"
>
> By assuming that if you're there, you're going to buy something -- and
> if not this time, the next one -- they take that "Show me your ID"
> gruffness out of the equation, saving it for the time when it is
> actually needed, at the purchase transaction. And in doing so, they
> remove/reduce the opportunities for users to get fed up with the
> questioning and just leave.
>
>
>
> And in contrast, today I did my monthly visit to the Science Fiction
> Book Club website to say "Nope, don't what this month's offered books,
> don't send them." This site *doesn't* remember that I've been there
> before. So I have to go to the upper right corner to sign in -- to a
> link usually partially off-screen because they assume I'll have a non-
> portrait shaped browser window (but I do), rather than a username/
> password control. And that takes me to a page where I have to choose
> either to Sign In or create a new account -- again, not to a username/
> password control. And that takes me to a username/password control...
> which have my saved credentials already filled in. Talk about wanting
> the returning customer to feel like they are annoying you! (Actually,
> I fib slightly. That's the flow from a couple months ago. they've at
> least merged the 2nd and 3rd screens, which reduces the annoyance by a
> factor of 2, but they still don't put it on the front page or sign me
> in automatically, still making it 4 times as annoying as Amazon's
> method.)
>
> -- Jim
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7 Jul 2009 - 3:18pm
Stephen Dondershine
2007

I am a long time User of Amazon and have never gotten used to the
foibles of trying to sign in, especially considering that the site
itself prominently uses the term "sign-in" when you are *not*
signed in, therefore creating the expectation that there will be a
"sign in" link or button *somewhere.* I think Walmart is a faulty
analogy: Amazon is more like Costco or any other "shopping club" as
there are quite a few functional perks only available to members (wish
list, shopping list, amazon prime, recs. etc.) I think that anyone
that uses Amazon more than a few times or does more than casual
browsing will register and have at least a list or two. It's hard
for me to imagine that Amazon would invest so heavily in all that
"membercentric" functionality if many of their customers weren't
using it, or if they were 1 time buyers who never come back or insist
on remaining anonymous. Let's also not forget that some people
regularly clear their cookie cash as part of system maintenance, so
they may need to sign in fairly frequently rather than having it be a
very rare occurrence.

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http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43262

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