Amazon.com Design 1997-2005
In October 1997, I was hired as the first Junior Designer at Amazon.com, "Earth's Biggest Bookstore." Along with the Art Director and one other designer, we illustrated and designed a vast array of interfaces in Photoshop and Illustrator, handed them off to the web developers, and began the back-and-forth of iterations with senior management. At some point in the whirlwind I was promoted to "Designer." There was not yet anything resembling a usability team, so that responsibility was keenly felt by designers and the editorial staff.
Amazon.com Design Projects
I designed this mockup for the companywide meeting where Jeff Bezos unveiled the Music store. However, it was decided at the last minute that it was just too bold to make Books and Music equally weighted. Could the world accept us as more than just a bookstore? Oh, the suspense! We ended up launching Books and Music tabs with no Home tab, and defaulted to the Books page to ease the transition.
- Advantage Program
- Merchandising Resource Center
- Associates Network
- Help Desk
- Join Our Staff
- Award Winners
- Amazon Kids
- Amazon logo redesign
- Print Identity
- Shopping Cart/Order Pipeline
- Investor Relations
- Gift Services/Your Account
- Wish List
- One-Click Dropdown
- Brand Standards (sitecabal@)
- Music launch
- Shop The Web/Universal Product Finder
By 1999 we had hired a small team of designers, still countable on one or two hands. I was promoted to Senior Designer after launching my first store, Kitchen.
- Kitchen launch
- Gourmet launch
- Centralization of Home Design
I proposed centralizing Design to improve consistency, since the rate of store launches was increasing exponentially and teams had no formal accountability to each other for features or look and feel. I became Design Manager for Home, and then Hardlines.
ABIS & iBase
When new stores launched, our backend tools needed to be revised for new product types. Before my tools designer headcount was approved, I pitched in and did some UI/UX design for the Hardlines buying team in between scoping and scheduling retail store designs. Later I worked with our web dev lead to modify a different internal tool (iBase) for design requests, so we could streamline that process.
- Housewares launch
- Lawn & Patio launch
- Amazon Buyer Information System
- Further Centralized Retail Design and launched Computers, Software, Video Games, Toys, Baby, Wireless, Consumer Electronics, Sporting Goods, Auto, Jewelry & Watches, Musical Instruments, Health & Beauty, Office Products
- Design request processes (iBase)
- Brand Stores
- Designer Core Competencies
- Designer Skills Matrix
- “Best of Breed” and Design-Driven Projects
By the time I left Amazon to start my own business in 2005, I was one of two Design Managers for Worldwide Retail & Marketing, with a team of Senior Designers/Design Managers.