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– Tabbed Inbox, v2.0 –

An Interface Built Upon Contextual Needs

Role: UX, Product Design

Seller Tab
Keeping track of multiple offers


As a seller, manage multiple listings with various sort options. These options align to the context particular to each listing and the criteria important to a seller before closing the deal. Some sellers may want to sell to a particular buyer they like, whereas for other sellers, only the highest price matters.

Remote User Testing
Uncovering a wealth of insights


While our design team moved at a brisk pace, it’s critical to ensure the features we build resonate with users and address their needs. With such a small team on both the design and development side, user testing ensures our time and effort is spent wisely. We had the pleasure of interviewing members of the LA Motoring Club, whose insights extended well beyond the scope of the actual chat feature we were testing.

Facilitator and Researcher: 

Amelia Abreau

Remote Testing Software:


– Product Vision –

A Chat for Buyers & Sellers

Role: Concept & Prototyping

Request a video &
 bid with confidence

Seller and buyers can work together to answer each other’s questions

Sellers establish trust with potential buyers by answering their individual questions via text, image or video

Buyers who trust the seller and are confident in the listing are more likely to bid

As a seller, no longer do you need to link out to YouTube to host a custom video

– UX Process –

A Phased Approach

Role: UX, Product Design

Reference Tab
Keep tabs on future buyers, sellers or vehicles


As an enthusiast, save these listings as a reference library for future transactions as well as a reference guide to track a favorite model’s worth over time.

Buyer Tab
Keeping track of multiple offers


As a buyer, keep track of listings you’ve bid on or have expressed interest in.

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Simplifying Complexity


I suspected a chat app would be a complex feature to design and implement. It wasn’t until I got closer to handoff though, that the number of scenarios and edge cases to document were completely revealed. Many scenarios emerged, and all component state changes needed to be clearly documented to facilitate a faster build time for development.

I ended up documenting the changes across a 4 column layout. With a feature this complex, I believe an exhaustive approach to documentation is essential.

Chat scenarios include:

  • Buyer initiates offer, waiting on response from Seller

  • Seller counter offers to Buyer

  • Seller declines offer from Buyer

  • Buyer declines offer from Seller

  • Buyer counter offers to Seller

  • Vehicle sold, Pending payment, Next steps

  • Vehicle sold, Deal complete

  • Offer expired, Re-list

  • Offer expired, Lost sale to another buyer

– Documenting All Scenarios for Chat v1.0 –

Documentation Handoff

Role: Interaction Design

– Interaction Design for Chat v1.0 –

A Blueprint for All Edge Cases

Role: UX, Interaction Design

– Test, Learn & Iterate –

Learning from our Users

Applying RITE Methodology

Seller's Needs

- Track bids in various states of play
- Keep track of multiple listings for sale
- Evaluate and manage offers quickly

Buyer's Needs

- What issues does the car really have?
- Can I trust this seller? I’ve never met them before
- I have questions, I need answered before I bid

Chat 2.0 Proposal

- Video Uploads

- Tabbed Inbox

- Contextual Sort

Enabling Last Minute Offers

Sellers have to monitor multiple bids at once. 
While chatting with a buyer, they may miss out on a better last minute offer.

Our interrupter feature ensures a seller is aware of all highest bids before committing to a final sale. This built in assistance provides a fallback they can trust, so they can better focus on engaging with the current buyer they’re chatting with, secure in the knowledge they’re not leaving money on the table.

UX Concept: Richard Sipe & Thai Dang
Prototype & Design: Stefan Belavy

Reducing Cognitive Load for Users

Selling or buying a car is inherently a complex activity. Random incoming messages need to be filtered and categorized to help our users make a wise decision. A chat interface which understands this complexity, and filters it according to a user's needs, will set a user up for success.

The three tabs represent the distinct roles a user typically inhabits while chatting: Selling, Buying & Reference. Each incoming message is organized within these tabs so that a user can respond to them once they're in the right frame of mind.


Typically, a user has to manually filter and organize these messages within a single mixed inbox, which is a significant cognitive load to overcome. We should free them up to focus on the actual negotiation with their counter party.

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Problem Statement

Buyers and sellers have different needs. Within a single chat session, their roles can shift instantly as they navigate a sale. Often, an enthusiast will try and sell one vehicle in order to finance another project at the same time.

Strategic Insights

Our current MVP chat, could do a much better job of organizing and sorting information based on a user’s role and intentions. With this v2.0 proposal, I leveraged insights gleaned from our interviews with the LA Motoring club so that a user could act upon incoming info based on common needs particular to their role as a buyer, seller or researcher.

Project Goals

In light of the time pressure and significant money involved with these sales, a chat interface that is both fluid and cognizant of the unique needs of buyers and sellers is essential.

Personal Learnings

Prototyping is cheap, fast and easy. Following RITE methodology principles, it makes sense to prototype, test and learn before committing to real code. Design has the ability to accelerate the learnings, and tease out what has real value to users, for a faster release cycle.

– Chat 2.0 Feature Set –

Organizing Random Inputs

Role: Concept & Prototyping

It makes perfect sense that digital products should try to emulate natural human interactions. Chat is a natural format for negotiating a car sale, and it’s a significant upgrade from email messaging.

Let's Make A Deal

UX, UI, Rapid Prototyping

Skill Set

eBay Motors




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