It feels like a momentous occasion in Internet terms – and long overdue in my opinion. Amazon‘s latest redesign has got rid of those tabs!
As acknowledged by Amazon themselves in their explanation of the redesign, the expansion of their product range made it difficult for navigation tabs to support the breadth of their product range.
Despite applauding their move away from tabs, I am less than impressed by the navigation solution they’ve ended up with. The expanding navigation requires mouse dexterity that will leave many users frustrated, and this is further compounded by the fact that the department headings are not themselves links.
It is fine to use expanding navigation, it enables users to get greater context of the contents of an area before clicking, but you should always make the navigation label a link. This enables less dexterous users to progress without having to perform mouse gymnastics.
Amazon say the redesign is a result of much customer consultation, I only hope they get some usability testing done with users with average to poor mouse skills sooner rather than later.