Amazon's Loaded Hamburger Menu Beats Its Older Dropdown Version In This A/B Test
At first glance some A/B tests may seem like they are beautifully simple with a single controlled variable. Yet as we look at the experiment in more detail, more and more subtle differences start coming into view. This I think is the case with Amazon's most recent experiment where it seems that only a dropdown menu was shifted into a hamburger one - which ended up winning.
Highlighted UI Changes From This Leak
Dropdown Vs Hamburger Menu
One of the first visible changes in this experiment was the shift of the broad "Department" menu from the navigation (A), towards the upper left into a "Hamburger" menu. Yes, this also means that the "Department" label disappeared and was replaced with an icon (B).
A More Prominent Sign-In Option
Interestingly, the experiment wasn't a simple menu shift as after clicking the hamburger icon, users would see a very strong call to sign-in as the first option. This of course wasn't visible in the control. I would guess that encourgaing users to signin, allows Amazon to surface more relevant products and makes for an overall better experience.
The B variation menu was longer and contained more options. As a result of this a scrollbar was also added.
Perhaps subtle, but you might notice that the B variation menu has more padding between menu option. More padding of course is known to make selections to be performed more easily - especially when using fingers.
Another difference between the control (A) and the variation (B) that ended up winning, was that most options contained a second level. Clicking on "Echo & Alexa" for example would bring up another level of options specific to that selection.
And last but not least, the B variant menu also took up the full 100% height of the screen.