Signing up for a business account is straightforward. That is until legal, regulatory, privacy, and financial implications are considered.
One of the longest-standing projects for Amazon Business, this effort has evolved as the features it enables have multiplied and matured.
Most of my work is covered by non-disclosure agreements (NDA). What I am sharing is just the tip of the iceberg.
Northstar Strategy, UX pattern & writing standardization, guerrilla testing, rapid iteration
As Senior UX designer, I collaborated at all levels, presenting to senior leadership and facilitating agile iterative development.
To enable registration to grow as Amazon Supply, and later, Amazon Business evolved, registration required tenets and a flexible architecture.
"Why?" is a powerful question. It begs us to consider our motives.
From the onset, I challenged stakeholders, lawyers and leadership, asking, "Why must customers register?" After reviewing requirements, we conceded that while our resources and deadlines warranted initially limiting access, a Northstar vision to drive innovation was needed.
Most of our industry-changing Northstar concepts are still protected by NDA, however, the tenets derived guided our first, manual efforts:
During this effort, my team included 2 project managers and 2 dev teams. I collaborated with the Authentication Portal team and lawyers to determine constraints, and reached out to editors to assist with terminology and copy.
Registration is a product, not a project. The UX for the initial phase was completed in less than 1 month. Later iterations were completed in 1-2 months.
With no dedicated researcher, I leveraged:
Many registration components are owned by other teams. Taking time to understand their priorities reveals opportunities and creates a strong sense of co-ownership.
"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions." -Leonardo Da Vinci
As Amazon customers became business customers on shared accounts, protecting their privacy was essential. Many consumer accounts included 10 years of purchases, Amazon Web Services, Prime video, ebooks, and hundreds in gift cards. To protect them, the path from consumer to business required a balance of ease and purposeful friction.
Rather than jumping directly to mocks, we iterated using storyboards and workflows. During these exercises, I created an "emotional tally" system, allowing stakeholders to assess the impact of our user experience.
These flows were tested as rough sketches, allowing us to quickly assess and correct our course.
Involving developers ensures they own the solution.
Our developers were involved from the beginning, helping explore solutions and estimate feature costs.
Later, as we began design, I co-located with the developers. This collaboration enabled us complete the project on time and fostered greater empathy for the needs of each discipline.
At Amazon Business it is still day one.
The impact of phase 1 exceeded our goals:
Shortly after launch, major corporations wanted to gather their rogue Amazon accounts to a single business account. Thanks to the collaborative relationship we had with our developers, we could quickly adjust the primary registration flow.