I chose to do this UI critique because I thoroughly enjoyed using the product and I could immediately see more applications for it.
I set out to find what it was about the product that piqued my interest and how it could be improved upon to make the overall experience better. I started by unpacking the purpose or intention behind it.
Why did Amazon introduce Lockers?
Instead of having a delivery sent your home or business address, Amazon Locker allows you to select a locker location where you can pick up your package at a time that is convenient for you.
What is the top 3 user scenarios for it?
The purchaser of temperature sensitive products like electronics or food, who would prefer not to have their delivery left by their front door in extreme heat or extreme cold; the purchaser who lives in a location where it is not safe to leave deliveries outside as it might get stolen; and the purchaser who lives and works in a location where an Amazon seller doesn’t ship to.
What was Amazon looking to achieve with this product?
As much as Amazon is expanding into a range of virtual products, the online retailer is also looking to lock down the bread and butter of its business: its e-commerce marketplace and the vast logistics operation that underpins its operation. How? By removing barriers that users might experience when using their platform.
How would the Locker enhance their business goals?
The Locker effectively allows Amazon to control a segment of the logistics and delivery chain that is largely been out of the hands of all online retailers: deliver. If the concept of the Amazon Locker were to be a resounding success, it could effectively make Amazon the first e-commerce company to disrupt the postal system!
How would it impact their bottom-line?
By controlling the logistics and delivery chain, Amazon will increase its revenue through a decrease in lost and damaged items.
Next, I looked at what was expected of the user in order for them to successfully make use of the product.
What information does Amazon need from the user?
Apart from the obvious information like when and where the user would like to pickup their parcel, I had hoped that Amazon would ask questions pertaining to the physical limitations users might have. Users don’t have the option to request lower locker slots, thus making it inaccessible for wheelchair-bound users or those with height limitations.
At what stage in the process should they ask for it?
Users only have the option of setting their personal preferences at checkout. I feel that it would be wise to allow the users to update this information, especially after checkout, until the point at which the product is dispatched from the warehouse.
What expectations have been set that allow them to request this information?
The over-arching reason that a user would choose to make use of the Amazon Locker is convenience. To ensure ease of use, it makes sense to allow them to highlight their physical limitations.
What do they do with it?
Just as parking lots prioritize parking spaces for disabled persons and expectant mothers and/or mothers with kids, so too should physical storage programs like the Amazon Locker isolate height appropriate lockers to ensure inclusivity and accessibility.
In conclusion, I feel that design critiques for user interfaces and physical products need to be performed as often as possible throughout the entire product design and development process.
Critiques keep the product design on track, and they become even more critical in an agile or lean UX product environment, where designs will go through multiple iterations before deployment.