Project Overview

The selling experience on eBay is a well established one, which since the very beginning of eBay allowed millions of people to sell their stuff and make a profit.  But it eventually stopped attracting new sellers and failed to retain existing ones.  I led the effort to redesign this experience to attract and retain new customers.

My role

As part of a 10-person multidisciplinary team, I focused on the experience and interactions of putting together an efficient listing process that would ensure the seller would make money. I was involved in the entire process from start to finish including research, architecture, sketching, wireframing, and final interface.

Design process

Process.png

User Research

Based on a combination of various user research methods and evaluating the current user experience, I put together pieces of the puzzle to determine the problem.  We interviewed people who never sold on eBay to understand how they sold their stuff online. In home visits we observed how people used eBay to sell.  I also conducted a heuristic evaluation of the selling experience, and reviewed user data to determine potential usability issues and points of friction for our target user. 

Product Discovery

IMG_2488.jpg

I led discovery sessions with stakeholders to understand business needs and technology issues.  Together we defined the problem and an approach toward the solution. I then created sketches and wireframes, which led to a low-fidelity clickable prototype, which was used in user testing sessions to validate some of our assumptions and general design approach.  We went through a number of iterations of the prototype to get feedback on different areas of the experience.

Sketches & wireframes

Screen Shot 2018-02-10 at 1.33.04 AM.png

The focus of the selling tool redesign was to leverage eBay's deep knowledge of products and results of listings over time to make it easier for a seller list an item and successfully make a sale.  From the moment a seller tells eBay what they are selling, we would provide all the product specifications, tell them how well it will sell, and recommend how much to sell it for.  All a seller would have to do is add photos and a detailed description.

Challenges

The bloat of the 15 year old tool came with entrenched and obscure business rules that made removing some friction points difficult.  In focusing on simiplicity, we had to work with our business partners to remove obscure policies that while provided revenue, contributed to the perception of the selling process as a chore.

Sellers also had difficulty in trusting the recommendations and presets eBay provided without proof based on past history of similarly sold items.

Testing and iterating

selling_proto.gif

To make sure our proposed solution was addressing seller's problems and making them more efficient,  I created realistic prototypes which people would use in testing.  Regular Sellers appreciated the improved decision-making tools and efficiency in the redesigned listing process because the majority of their time is spent determining the price point, creating a description, and capturing attractive product photos.  First-Time users were apprehensive to selling on eBay because they anticipated a significant learning curve, and were not familiar with PayPal, auction selling, eBay’s fees, and eBay’s return policies.

Finalizing the interface

For the user interface, we focused on condensing the steps into logical groups, removing any unnecessary steps that were not required, and only surfacing extended functions for advanced sellers when they needed them.

  BEFORE: A seller would have to tediously navigate a long list of pulldown menus to add the specifics for a product.

BEFORE: A seller would have to tediously navigate a long list of pulldown menus to add the specifics for a product.

  AFTER: The details UI is compressed, showing more content.  eBay relieves the seller's burden of adding details by leveraging its product catalog.

AFTER: The details UI is compressed, showing more content.  eBay relieves the seller's burden of adding details by leveraging its product catalog.

Through our user tests we learned that price is the primary lever to get things sold.  eBay's recommendation needed to be more than just words, so we added a list of similarly sold items over a given recent period to show skeptical sellers that the suggestion for price was grounded in recent marketplace history.

  BEFORE: Sellers had to think about selling at auction or at a fixed price.  eBay's price recommendations were not trusted by sellers.

BEFORE: Sellers had to think about selling at auction or at a fixed price.  eBay's price recommendations were not trusted by sellers.

  AFTER: A stronger graphic treatment of the recommendation showed the chance of selling and a way to see past history for skeptics to review.

AFTER: A stronger graphic treatment of the recommendation showed the chance of selling and a way to see past history for skeptics to review.

A faster, efficient selling tool

 Our redesigned selling tool dramatically reduced the time it took for a user to list an item, from over 25 minutes to under 8 minutes.

Our redesigned selling tool dramatically reduced the time it took for a user to list an item, from over 25 minutes to under 8 minutes.

The first version of the new selling tool shipped in early 2017.  By simplifying the process, what normally took close to half an hour was now under 8 minutes.  The general response to the new tool was positive, especially for those not familiar with the old selling tool.  Ultimately we saw completion rates go up, and conversion slightly improve as well.