Visual Design • User Experience • Information Architecture
eBay Garage is a virtual car show where eBay members create profiles of their vehicles that others can view. Each vehicle has a story, and through photos and text, Members could easily share what makes their car, truck or motorcycle special. Visitors could then view these vehicle profiles, leave comments and add them to their list of favorites. Members could spend large amounts of time browsing the thousands of vehicles in the Garage community.
Challenge: Improve customer engagement
Based on customer insight, we learned that motors enthusiasts constantly look for ideas and inspiration to maintain and improve their vehicles. While they would browse vehicles and parts on eBay, they would also go outside eBay, forming communities through online forums and social networks, and meet offline in the real world, where they would share their stories and knowledge about their vehicles. eBay could provide a similar destination to support this community.
The Vision: a social space for eBay car enthusiasts
The vision for eBay Garage was to be the place for existing and new eBay customers to share all things related to motors, providing a deeply personal and highly social experience that is relevant to their vehicles and interests.
I worked closely with Project Managers, Business Unit Partners and other designers to build the framework of the Garage. Through multiple collaboration meetings, we developed the features and requirements that would result in this motors-centric social network.
The vision for eBay Garage was to be the place for existing and new eBay customers to share all things related to motors, providing a deeply personal experience relevant to their vehicles and interests.
Based on the features the team agreed on, I developed the information architecture of the site, as well as the social graph: the objects, relationships and actions that would create the network and allow members of the community to share and interact with one another.
My process involved sketching and white-boarding concepts and flows, and then translating these into hi-fidelity design comps.
To help the team understand the size of the project and work needed to fulfill the design vision, I used the wireframes to create prototypes using Axure and Bootstrap to give teams a tangible example of the experience. The prototypes were also used to get consensus from stakeholders and approval from senior leadership.
Working with two other designers, I created several iterations of designs before landing on a final design concept. The feature set for initial launch was pared down from the vision, so designs needed to work for version 1, but could also scale to accomodate additional features and functionality that could be built in future versions.
Opening the garage
In November 2012, eBay Garage went live. A significant step in eBay's move into social engagement, Garage paved the way for eBay's launch of Collections the following year. As of Q4 2013, there were over 1 million registered vehicles in Garage, and over 300,000 public vehicle profiles.
I was the lead designer on the eBay Garage project, developing site architecture, wireframes and eventually the final visual and UI design. I also created prototypes to demonstrate functionality, as well as for user testing.