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Amazon.com testing new website design

September 5, 2011 |  2:18 pm

New Amazon.com test design. Image courtesy of Stuart Lawder on Skitch.com

Amazon.com, the world's largest online retailer, is testing a new website design.

The new look is a pretty big shift away from the blue-and-white, image-heavy look that Amazon has used for years. The royal-blue bar across the top and the light-blue "all departments" menu box running down the left of Amazon.com are gone in the new design, which goes with a much more airy, white navigation bar up top and a larger search box.

The "all departments" menu is now collapsible, activated by a button to the left of the search box, leading to a cleaner and less cluttered look.

The redesign was first reported by the website TechCrunch, though Amazon later confirmed that it's testing the new layout to the Wall Street Journal.

From images posted to Skitch.com, TechCrunch and Cnet, it looks as though Amazon will be displaying fewer suggested items on its homepage in the new design. With fewer products popping up to catch a consumer's eye, it will be interesting to see whether Amazon relies more on its system of suggesting products to consumers based on what they've purchased before, or whether it ends up listing its overall top-selling goods.

One reason behind the new site design, according to the Wall Street Journal, is to make Amazon.com easier to navigate and use for those shopping on a tablet computer, rather than on a laptop or desktop.

An Amazon tablet has long been rumored as in the works to compete with Apple's iPad, and the online retailer recently released an HTML5 website called the Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader that mimics the native Kindle app built for Apple's iPad.

The redesign also marks a shift toward Amazon giving its own digital products more prominence over products from other companies, the Journal's report said.

"The new site emphasizes Amazon's digital goods over its physical ones," the Journal reported. "On the old site, a column of buttons leads users to both electronic content and physical goods, such as toys, clothing and sporting gear. On the new site, a single row of buttons advertises only digital books, music, video and software."

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of Amazon.com's new website design, currently being tested out with consumers. Credit: Stuart Lawder via Skitch.com

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