As part of a multi-pronged approach to improving the overall experience of shopping for automobiles on eBay, we looked at how to make it easier for shoppers to determine whether a car was a good value based on the average market price of similar vehicles and leverage the history of a vehicle so that buyers could trust that they were purchasing a vehicle that was in good condition
As part of a 5-person team, I led the design process for both user experience and interface. I was involved in the entire process from start to finish including research, architecture, sketching, wireframing, and design.
The design process began with mapping out the existing shopping journey on eBay and identifying the key areas where price and vehicle history information would be helpful. Significant time was spent sketching and whiteboarding the key screens where the information would surface. This was then converted into wireframes and eventually turned into a high-fidelity clickable prototype. The prototype was tested to make sure users noticed the new information. Final designs were given to developers to implement.
Sketches & wireframes
The process of simplifying the selling process went through many iterations of sketching and wireframing before a strong solution was settled upon. It was critical to make the experience of listing an item feel not like a hassle, but require the least amount of effort to guarantee a successful outcome.
Vehicle History Report
The vehicle history and score was provided by AutoCheck, an independent provider of vehicle history reports. Designs explored how to take AutoCheck's scoring system and integrate it into eBay's user interface patterns. We also worked to make it easy for shoppers to get a good understanding of the condition of the vehicle upon seeing the score.
The market price analysis looked at similar vehicles, area and condition to determine whether the price of a car was a good deal or if it was over market value. I explored different ways to effectively display this information, from bar charts to plot graphs and simple text display. Ultimately we ended up with a histogram to show price versus market valuation in a simple way. This approach also worked well with the simple bar graph for the vehicle history score.
Testing and iterating
As designs were progressing, I created a high-fidelity prototype to check if shoppers noticed the additional information during their search process, and if they understood the visual information for the history score and price histogram. Test results validated that people in general noticed the market value information and found it useful. With this information we moved forward with finalizing the designs and going into development.
A better vehicle shopping experience
The improvements made when the redesign launched in mid 2017 gave shoppers more confidence that the vehicles they were considering for purchase were priced reasonably and were verifiably not lemons. By providing this information integrated within the core eBay shopping experience, they did not have to do extra work to determine if a given vehicle was consistent with market value, or make sure that the car was not in a serious accident through outside means.