Content Chunking with Amazon A+ Content

It’s no mystery why Amazon Vendors are excited about the new Premium A+ modular design templates. The mobile user experience (UX) of these new templates is interactive, light on text, and heavy on images. The layouts are wider and (potentially) even longer than they were with Standard A+. Brands that implement Premium A+ content on their product pages have a whole new way of capturing the attention of shoppers who visit their Amazon product pages.

But even if your company chooses not to invest in Premium A+, it’s still worth reviewing the templates in your Vendor Central account, if for no other reason than to consider how your brand might benefit by employing the key design principle that (most likely) informed the creation of the Premium templates.

This design principle is called “content chunking”: an idea from cognitive psychologist George A. Miller, and one that UX designers have been talking about for years.

Short-term memory has a capacity of about “seven plus-or-minus two” chunks of information – George A. Miller, 1956
Amazon’s Premium A+ templates allow for up to seven mobile-friendly “modules,” or chunks, to tell your product story.

 

 

The term “chunk” is often defined as a small grouping of inter-associated units of information. Think billboards, infographics, web banners. Miller’s seminal 1956 paper, when applied to ecommerce, suggests a shopper could potentially view seven web banners in a row and commit them all to memory. And given how much time we spend absorbing digital content (the average person spends five hours a day on mobile devices!), creating content that’s memorable matters—and may help elevate your product pages above your competitors’.

Of course, a shopper’s memory retention depends on each of your seven chunks containing interrelated units of information, i.e. product features with a clear connection. This means that content chunking begins with the product images you develop. These images must necessarily lend themselves to a focused narrative. For example:

Here we see kids using a tablet device, juxtaposed with a smartphone app interface that shows how Parental Controls can be selected for a range of devices.

The corresponding feature copy—“It’s easy for parents to control the Internet content their kids can see”—practically writes itself.

Think of the above image, along with the copy it inspires, as a textual-visual chunk of inter-associated information, which in turn informs the design template or module you choose. But be careful: if your chunk is too large, or contains unrelated pieces of information, it may risk being forgettable.

Consider, for example, these two attempts at chunking:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each of these screenshots shows one A+ module as viewed on an iPhone, with Standard A+ on the left and Premium A+ on the right. Each can be thought of as a single chunk. However, the Premium example on the right is more in line with Miller’s definition. Why? The obvious reason is brevity; but the more important distinction, for our purposes, has to do with the inter-association of features, which is far more coherent in the Premium example.

Take a look at the chunk on the left. The diagram calls out features and benefits that are unrelated: reflective strips for safety, dedicated storage for organization, and vertical pockets for accessibility. The poor association between these features makes it unlikely that a shopper would convert any of this information to long-term memory.

The chunk on the right, however, is organized around a central idea: options for viewing art on an HDTV. Though there are multiple product features within this chunk—curation, personal photos, adding to an art collection—interrelated features like these should stick in the shopper’s mind long after he or she views the content. As a bonus, the chunk is legible on a smartphone screen and doesn’t require any pinching or swiping.

Just as being memorable is important for communications of all types—digital, print, and voice—likewise, content chunking as a strategy is valuable across all industries, product categories, retail sites, and platforms. Amazon’s Premium A+ templates make content chunking easy, but there’s nothing to stop brands from applying the principles of chunking to all their marketing and communication initiatives, on Amazon and beyond.