How often do you get a chance to design for a $4 billion opportunity?
In 2008, the eBay iPhone app was featured at Apple's WWDC. Six weeks earlier it was just an idea. Thanks to the efforts of a small agile team, the eBay app was ready for the world stage. The app has since been downloaded over 40 million times worldwide and generated $600 million in sales volume in its first year.
"Two years ago, this business didn't exist," says Ryan Melcher, who oversees the Mobile design team.
"Having the world's largest marketplace in the palm of your hand is... empowering!"
It took a lot of nights and weekends to get the first version of the eBay iPhone app to the finish line, but it was worth it. Boats, pianos, vintage cars and even an airplane have been bought and sold on the iPhone app.
Just about every designer inside the company is designing against scenarios that can be realized across mobile AND web contexts."
The eBay iPhone apps have since evolved to offer even more functionality. From instant payment integration with PayPal to a quick selling flow using the camera & barcode scanning, the team has balanced innovative features with a strong stable experience. Targeted app experiences have been developed for Deals, eBay Fashion, and an eBay Classifieds.
In a relatively short time, the eBay mobile app has become a major driver of commerce on eBay. In 2010, these innovations in mobile commerce earned eBay a spot on Fast Company's "50 Most Innovative Companies" list for "transforming the mobile marketplace" and "redefining the (eBay) brand."
"The mobile ecommerce space is evolving rapidly, so we're doing our best to stay ahead of the curve," says Cale Peeples, UX Manager for eBay Mobile. "We're working on making the eBay app available for more mobile platforms and to offer more tailored shopping experiences for different retail verticals."
"Immersing myself in, and adapting to the needs of the Dutch online shopping culture was truly humbling," she recalled. Also like eBay, Bol.com's scale of offerings is vast and crosses international borders.
Every day, Carrie and the Design Systems Group team develop and extend new design elements and interaction guidelines. Sometimes the patterns work, and sometimes adjustments are needed, but the guiding principles are always there: to deliver simple, scalable and user-friendly design."For me, good design is a combination of different qualities. I gauge the strength of a design by the time it takes for me to understand it, and my ease of interacting with it. It helps if it's bad ass lookin' too!" she laughs. "I'm a hard sell, but I love the feeling of being inspired by new designs."
You know the scenario: You want to give a special present, but you don't want to shoulder the entire cost of a nice gift. So you ask your friends, relatives and co-workers to chip in — you collect the money, buy the gift and everyone signs the card. But what happens when everyone lives in different cities?
eBay uses problems like these as ingredients for workshops they call 'vizKitchens' — intense workshops led by design-thinking to pre-visualize products and services for eBay. eBay Group Gifts was a result of such a workshop...