Amazon.com Design question

How come Amazon.com is the only Ecommerce site I’ve seen designed to fit the entire screen, while every other site has a border? (besides those old ones back in the days)

Sorry if this is a strange question, I’m not a web developer nor a designer, but, wouldn’t it make more sense to use up all the space just like Amazon did, rather than have the borders? Even though the Borders does make it look some what “prettier”. However, doesn’t that also create more clutter?

Any particular reason for this?

Who started the trend to use borders anyways?

I know a lot of non-ecommerce sites such as search engines do not use the borders, such as google & yahoo.

Also Forums, such as this one was also made in ‘Full screen’.

Its simply a design decision. The type of design that Amazon uses is called a fluid layout where most people go with a fixed layout. Fluid layouts are a harder to design, so I think most people stay clear of them.

Amazon has a busy website… take a long look at Amazon.com and try to count the number of sidebar boxes, content sections, features, etc. that are used on the site. Then compare that with your typical e-commerce site with <1,000 products. Amazon has more than 1,000,000 products. They have a full-width page out of necessity, they want users to see the most of all those widgets as possible.

They are the exception, not the rule. While it might be a good idea to keep an eye on Amazon to see what they’re up to, they’re not the best site to model an e-commerce store after. They have such great brand name recognition that they can get away with a lot that wouldn’t fly on a smaller merchant’s website.

That’s not to say many other e-commerce websites couldn’t use a full-width layout effectively.

beley’s comment is spot on. Amazon sets the bar on ecommerce sales as the #1 etailer but that doesn’t mean copying their site will give you success. While Amazon has mastered many things and defined the style for conventional checkout, shipping offers, etc. they have their own approach and are really backed more by user familiarity than traditional user experience. People trust their site and are able to use it easily enough for it to work for them.

I think Amazon are proof that Usability rather than beauty is the most important factor. While their website may not be the easiest thing to search (in terms of visual fluidity) it by far has the simplest purchasing platform of ANY website I’ve ever encountered. The one click purchase system, the very simple control panel, the fact their product pages are informative rather than being almost mystery meat navigation, the only downside to the site is the sheer scale of what it offers (making it’s biggest advantage it’s main negativity point), it’s almost like a safari trying to work your way around the design. :stuck_out_tongue: