My 21st birthday was recently and in addition to bringing about some cotton-mouth, it also yielded some i-tunes gift cards. I used amazon in order to discover and organize the music that I wanted to purchase.
Overall, the layout of the homepage is a pretty good one. The search bar is the first thing that grabs your eye, which is the goal for a web site like this. The search box is divided into several different categories to make searching easier. The search bar is also present on every page of the site.
There are an awfully large amount of advertisements on the site but, in general, they keep a solid proximity distance away from each other, and when you consider that the point of this web site is to sell things, you realize that things could indeed look a lot worse. A plus of the site is that it suggests things that you may like based upon your searches. When the advertisements are geared towards things that you enjoy, they are less overwhelming and bothersome. I did not appreciate the fact that if you were not familiar with amazon, it may take you a while to realize that is a shopping web site. Granted, the search box may be a big hint, but The words "Shopping" and "View Cart" are very small on the left and right of the page in comparison to the web advertisements.