Amazon has unveiled a new homepage design to select users, placing a new emphasis on the retail giant's biggest brands: the Kindle e-book platform, its Fire lineup of tablets and smartphones, and the Prime subscription service, which offers users next-day shipping and a huge library of digital content for a yearly fee.
Although the new design isn't too different from the old one, it does feature a few noticeable tweaks. For one thing, there's a new black menu bar at the top of the screen, which gives the usually stark white Amazon webpage some much needed contrast. In addition, the search and navigation bar has changed, making the "Departments" dropdown easier to see, while giving equal space to new "Kindle & Fire" and "Prime" dropdowns.
Right now, there are only a few scattered reports on Twitter saying that the new design is popping up. Not everyone is blown away.
Generally speaking, when a small number of users receives a redesign that no one else is getting, the implication is that the design is being A/B tested. So this design may never debut universally. Or it could be heavily tweaked before it's unrolled.
Personally, I like the design. It gives the homepage some much needed contrast, and makes it easier for users already heavily invested in the Amazon digital ecosystem to locate and navigate the site's Prime and Kindle offerings, which can be hard to find in the existing iteration. It's also a way for Amazon to put these brands front and center on each Amazon page--presumably to lock new customers into the Amazon digital ecosystem, as well. As Apple has shown, the more users invest in your app and media library, the less likely they are to defect.
We've approached Amazon for comment, and we will update the post when we hear back.