[iai-members] eBay redesign

19 Jun 2007 - 10:16am
7 years ago
7 replies
627 reads
jayeffvee
2007

>From the article:

""You could go to the site looking for Star Wars items and get the same
results as you'd have had in 1999 - a thousand results all sorted by
what auction is closing first," said Mark Mahaney, an analyst with
Citigroup. "Are you looking for a Star Wars pendant? Poster? DVD? It
doesn't matter. You'll see everything."

And so...they're saying that people actually navigate eBay through the
category listings?

Interesting. It would never occur to me to do that, but I'm also a
long-term eBay user, and after the listings for my favorite collectible
dinnerware pattern got to more than 1000 (which they did within about
three months of my becoming a user), I started building and bookmarking
queries. But I'm a collector and so maybe my behavior is different
from a casual buyer.

That said, based on my own use patterns: the first thing I'd do to fix
eBay is to put search front-and-center and make it easier for people to
learn how to build intelligent queries.

What am I missing, here?

Comments

19 Jun 2007 - 10:55am
tdellaringa
2006

On 6/19/07, Vermette, Joan <Joan.Vermette at fmr.com> wrote:

> And so...they're saying that people actually navigate eBay through the
> category listings?

I do a lot of searches on ebay too, I have a few searches saved for that
very reason. But I do use the categories as a filter. If I am looking for
star wars figurines, I would probably enter that (probably a more specific
string like "kenobi star wars figurine") but even with that specific string
(I actually only got 4 items) there are still 4 categories to choose from.
If I got lots of results, I'd filter using category.

That said, based on my own use patterns: the first thing I'd do to fix
> eBay is to put search front-and-center and make it easier for people to
> learn how to build intelligent queries.

Amen to that. Just adding "kenobi" and "figurine" reduced the results from
1000's to 4. They need to educate users more on how to search. For awhile
there they had two search boxes, which was annoying as all get out. All the
junk on the homepage is useless to me. I've have never, ever, clicked on one
of those auctions or ads. When you come to ebay you know what you are
looking for. What are the chances of it being one of those 10-20 items on
the homepage? Very small indeed. There has to be a better way to utilize the
homepage that is more personalized to me.

Tom

19 Jun 2007 - 11:14am
jrrogan
2005

Regarding Tom's reply:

"A lot of things they do are very much based on user feedback and study. And
we can't really argue with the success of that web site, can we?"

Didn't Zia's have a tag line quote from Henry Ford something like this: "If
I would've asked my customers what they wanted, they would've said a faster
horse".

For sure it is important to "listen to your customers" and also to "watching
their hands". The real art seems to be diseminating feedback and creatively
coming up with solutions, how does Ebay do this?

19 Jun 2007 - 11:22am
tdellaringa
2006

On 6/19/07, Rich Rogan <jrrogan at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> For sure it is important to "listen to your customers" and also to
> "watching
> their hands". The real art seems to be disseminating feedback and
> creatively
> coming up with solutions, how does Ebay do this?

Agreed there is a difference to what a customer says vs. what they actually
often do. I don't have any inside info on their processes, I was just
remembering a very old article. I too would be interested to know though...

Tom

19 Jun 2007 - 4:55pm
hteano
2007

One of their programs is called Visits, where eBay project team
members visit users (buyers, sellers) in their natural surroundings
(home, office, etc.) and perform observation studies to witness how
they go about performing eBay-related tasks, in order to better
understand potential pain points in processes, which helps inform
solutions for improvement.

Having attended several of these, I think the key aspect was not the
methodology itself, but rather the fact that several key disciplines
from the project team were in attendance: product management, product
development, user experience, business unit. This allowed for a shared
understanding of the problems and made for a more unified approach to
solving them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17376

20 Jun 2007 - 10:06am
jrrogan
2005

Regarding:

On 6/19/07, Hernan Teano <hteano at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> eBay project team members visit users (buyers, sellers) in their natural
> surroundings
> (home, office, etc.) and perform observation studies to witness how
> they go about performing eBay-related tasks, in order to better
> understand potential pain points in processes, which helps inform
> solutions for improvement.

Question for Hernan:

After the field research was completed findings compiled and you understood
the users pain, how was the design executed? Was design done in a democratic
way involving all participants, or was it more of an autocratic affair where
designers took control?

How did user testing on the new design play into design iterations?

On 6/19/07, Hernan Teano <hteano at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> One of their programs is called Visits, where eBay project team
> members visit users (buyers, sellers) in their natural surroundings
> (home, office, etc.) and perform observation studies to witness how
> they go about performing eBay-related tasks, in order to better
> understand potential pain points in processes, which helps inform
> solutions for improvement.
>
> Having attended several of these, I think the key aspect was not the
> methodology itself, but rather the fact that several key disciplines
> from the project team were in attendance: product management, product
> development, user experience, business unit. This allowed for a shared
> understanding of the problems and made for a more unified approach to
> solving them.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17376
>
>
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20 Jun 2007 - 9:24pm
itst
2007

Hernan Teano wrote:
> One of their programs is called Visits, where eBay project team
> members visit users (buyers, sellers) in their natural surroundings
> (home, office, etc.) [...]

Former T-Online International had something similar. I never attended one of
these visits, nevertheless I don't think they really make things better.

First, the people visited are volunteers, maybe they are even incentived to do
so. What is their agenda? Do they really behave natural? How would you feel,
being surrounded by three to five strangers carrying notebooks and lurking over
your shoulder?

Furthermore, if there were any findings the lurkers agree over, how do they
react to these findings? First day back in the office, all attendees were very
busy writing reports and creating presentations. Two days later, everything was
forgotten and business as usual took over.

From my experience at TOI I can tell these visits were massively hyped by the
management. But the outcome was marginal. I believe such a programs

* keep workers busy,
* make the management look good,
* don't change a thing.

Wow, I seem to have a bad attitude towards this...

--
Sascha

21 Jun 2007 - 7:19am
tdellaringa
2006

On 6/20/07, Sascha A. Carlin <sc at itst.net> wrote:
>
> First, the people visited are volunteers, maybe they are even incentived
> to do
> so. What is their agenda? Do they really behave natural? How would you
> feel,
> being surrounded by three to five strangers carrying notebooks and lurking
> over
> your shoulder?

This is true of virtually *any* type of usability testing. Are you then
discounting all methods based on the fact that they are incentived
volunteers? :) Whether it's 3-5 or 1 person, that's your typical usability
setting - a volunteer and one or more observers.

It seems to me the "in the wild" exercise of watching ebayers in their
element was an excellent idea as well.

Tom

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