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Heuristic evaluation of Amazon Prime Video — UX case study

Heuristic evaluation of Amazon Prime Video — UX case study

Two of the users in our case were expert user. One of the user was using browser with disabled JavaScript from previous session and forgot to turn it on. This setting led to discovery of a very crucial usability issue. Website wasn’t displaying any error message. The user was lost for some moment and believed that the website is broken.

Fig. 1. White boundary depicting thumbnails not loaded

Most of the websites uses JavaScript extensively. This issue didn’t allow thumbnails, cover photos of movie titles and details to load. The component spaces were replaced by default Amazon logo (Fig. 1. white boundary). They missed out on displaying error message saying “JavaScript is blocked, please turn it on”. This should be the first check on the website and should be part of best practices.

Table 1. Categorization of JavaScript blocked issue.

Suggested Improvements

This issue can be fixed using <noscript> tag in HTML, and adding appropriate message with steps on how to turn on JavaScript on any browser.

Another serious usability issue was encountered while browsing media titles using search. There is no criteria specified as how results are presented to user and sort order. Upon executing task 6 it was realised there is no sort option, which was previously seen in watchlist.

Fig. 2. Watchlist page having sort option whereas, search page is not having one.
Table 2. Categorization of missing sort option issue

Suggested Improvements

This issue can be fixed by having sort option in top-right corner (Fig. 2. yellow boundary) like in watchlist. This option can reuse methods used by sort option in watchlist using SQL query. Depending on user selection sorting can be applied to a specific column and can be presented in ascending and descending order of values. This feature should be added to all the web pages having search criteria.

While going through all of the tasks, it was realised that design of search result page can have more minimalistic design. Currently it displays 20 results per page in the form of tiles, which requires users to scroll and go to next page for next 20 results. Going through results this way takes lot of time. This problem was experienced during user testing. Most of the users were habitual of seeing either list or thumbnails, but browsing through tiles gets really cumbersome specially on website.

Table 3. Categorization of design flaw in search results page.
Fig. 3. Search results showing only 20 tiles as results with many pages.

Suggested Improvements

This issue can be fixed by giving user an option to view results in the form of list or tiles. Icon to display such setting can be placed in top-right corner (Fig. 3. yellow boundary). Different template can be experimented to check which is more user-friendly, and can be used.

As seen above we found some common usability problems with a major streaming service. The defects listed here can vary from user to user. It is therefore recommended to have users of various skill level to test interface.

Thanks for reading. If you like my article, I would love to hear your thoughts in comments.

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