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Abhijeet Saxena

Amazon Filters

A usability study on amazon's mobile application filter which are used for shopping.


I have been using Amazon for a very long time now. Whenever I want to buy any product, amazon is my first preference. However, there was always something that was off with the mobile app's shopping experience.

When I used other apps to make purchases, I realized that the filters on amazon's mobile app offer very little flexibility. I was curious whether this is something that I find as a problem or other users feel the same way. To validate my findings, I conducted a usability test on Amazon's Android app.

Further, I attempted to design a solution to address this issue with filters. I tested my prototypes with users for validation.


2 weeks

My Role

User Testing


An individual project to explore problems with existing features of the amazon app.



I always use amazon's mobile app for making purchases. Even if I'm not buying anything, I come to Amazon to check the price of products. While using other e-commerce apps for making purchases, I realized that these apps had good filters, which provided me with a much better experience while using filters. It made me think about what if others have also noticed this difference? Or was it only me? I wondered why this problem was never talked about, or was it a problem?

To find answers to these questions, I conducted a usability test using contextual inquiry on amazon's android app.


Usability Testing
User Flow

Contextual Inquiry

For conducting contextual inquiry sessions, I asked 8 random people to help me and asked for an appointment to meet them. I went to their homes and offices for these sessions. I asked them to complete some predefined tasks which I designed for these sessions. While they were performing the tasks, I asked them to think out loud and tell me what they were thinking. I was taking notes on what the participants were doing.

All the recruited participants had prior experience of shopping on Amazon through the mobile app.

I asked the users to complete the following tasks


After completing all the 8 usability test sessions, I reviewed my notes from these sessions. The participants talked about various problems during the session. I grouped these problems into categories based on their similarities.

There were two major issues which surfaced on analysis of these interviews were as follows

  1. Users did not use the 'Shop by Department' option for making purchases as it was not visible.
  2. The filters were found to be ineffective as they did not work according to user expectations.

1. Shop by Department


People who didn't look at 'Shop by Department' option


People who never clicked on the hamburger menu in the app


People who clicked on the hamburger menu in the app

Many people prefer to look for options when they are buying a product. Since the 'Shop by Department' hides inside the hamburger menu, therefore the users find the shopping experience less pleasing due to the inability to scan various sections.

2. Filters


People who tried using brand filters


People who used filters after searching the product


People who tried using more than one filter

People prefer to shop for multiple brands at the same time while using e-commerce platforms like Amazon. When the participants tried to look for brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma, they were not able to find them in the brand filter section. 7 out of 8 participants were confused when they did not found relevant filters. They were stuck and could not figure out a way to complete the given task.

There are times when we want to choose multiple filters for refining our search to get relevant results. Multiple filters not only enhance the search results, but they also help us find the right product in our budget. When it comes to multiple filters in Amazon's mobile app, the user can apply only one filter at a time.


I created a user persona that resembled the similarities between all the 8 people I interviewed.

Cody, 35

Cody usually shops online to save both time and money. He likes to window shop if he likes something he buys it.


•  Wants to shop in a limited budget.
•  Prefers buying brands.
•  Wants to compare multiple products.


•  Can't select more than one filter at a time.
•  Not able to find his preferred brands.
•  Not able to discover products without the seaarch.


I used a pen and paper to sketch some ideas for my solution quickly. This activity helped me in ideating clearly without spending a lot of time on creating pixel-perfect designs.

User Flow

Finding a product on Amazon's mobile app without using search



Shop by Department


Solution: Integrating the 'Shop by Department' option on the home page of the app to make it visible to the users instead of the hamburger menu. Also, the 'Shop by Department' is removed from the menu options to reduce redundancy.



Solution: I have revamped the filters to minimize the efforts of the user to use them. The categories and sub-categories lie on the same page to reduce the number of taps for selecting a filter. The checkboxes will help the user to select multiple filters at a time. To save the filter settings, the user will use 'Apply.'

I took out colored printouts of these high fidelity mockups for conducting paper prototype sessions. These sessions helped me in validating my proposed solution.


Using the paper prototypes, I followed the same usability tests, as mentioned above. I approached 4 new users with a similar background to the users I interviewed before. These people had prior shopping experience with Amazon's mobile app.


Users used 'Shop by Department' instead of searching for products


Users successfully used multiple filters to narrow down their search results for finding the desired product.


I started with a question in my mind, "Do other users also face problems using filters on Amazon's mobile app?" To validate my assumption, I conducted usability tests using Contextual Inquiry. Theses usability tests revealed that users had problems with shopping a product when they do not want to use the search option. Based on these results, I tried to design a solution to address this issue. Then I conducted a few usability tests using high-fidelity paper prototypes to validate my design solution. Although there were not enough users to test my prototype, the ones who helped me with the usability tests were able to use filters with ease and efficiency.


By conducting this study, I was able to address one of the problems which bothered me for very long. Also, I got to meet some fantastic people during the interviews. However, the solutions which I proposed in this study can have some limitations, but it was a great overall learning experience.