eBay Selling Redesign

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What is it (and Why)

The eBay Selling tool enables anyone interested in selling an item on eBay. Over 20-years old, it had devolved into a bloated and slow tool, difficult for both old and new customers to achieve a complete listing and successful sale.

Selling: eBay’s Flagship Product

eBay is an online Marketplace that connects buyers and sellers across the world. It started in 1996 when one guy decided to sell his laser pointer for 14 bucks. Today eBay is a $100 billion dollar business where people buy things by bidding on them through an auction or for buying them for a fxed price.

In 2015, 25 million sellers were using the selling tool. But existing users were selling less, and the tool was not attracting or retaining new users.

The tool was too hard to use. Compared to competing apps like facebook and letgo, where a user could list an item in minutes, eBay’s tool averaged over 25 minutes. In addition, the learning curve was large for new users: things like entering a price, selecting a shipping option, or writing a description were tall hurdles.

Discovery

I led several work sessions with our design team and the stakeholders: Business unit in charge of policies and rules, Developers who knew the underlying services that power the selling tool, Product managers and UX researchers. We also worked with various partner teams in charge of the different aspects of selling.

Together, we generated ideas, issues and thoughts on how to address the problems. I then facilitated the discussion for prioritization: from this large list of ideas we culled it down to a smaller group of ideas which we agreed were most important.

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Over several of these work sessions I looked at each step in the process, concentrating on ease of use and guiding new users.



 I sketched out numerous ideas for exploration. Some of these concepts included 1) reducing the number of steps to only the necessary ones; 2) a tool that took only 60 seconds to list; 3) and using progressive disclosure: collapsing the steps to reduce cognitive load.

I then switched from sketches to wireframes to increase the fidelity, exploring ways to simplify the user interface and varying concepts of progressive disclosure, which would reveal a simple selection for new users, but allow advanced options for experienced sellers.

I also explored the idea of “Guidance”: providing recommendations and potentially applying selections based on these recommendations. These recommendations were based on the massive amount of data eBay has based on previously sold items in the marketplace. For any given item we know the price range it is likely to sell for, the specifics of the item like model number and dimensions, and how to best ship it.

Testing and iterating

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I then built interactive prototypes, which would be shown to both new and current users to test our ideas on making the tool easier. We wanted to know if the guidance was obvious; were the recommendations easy to understand and accept? Would users readily accept the default recommendations, or would they reject them? After each round of testing I made changes to the design.

After several rounds of iteration, i landed on a final design that would move forward with. My team of designers built out the design system of recommendation signals and messages, the overall layout, animation and iconography.

On October 2016 the new easy-to-use selling tool launch on Desktop & Mobile web, to positive customer feedback!

As a result, the average time to list was reduced from over 25 minutes to around 8 minutes. Listing and completing a sale by new users increased by 4% in the first 3 months.