– Marketing –
Built by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts
Role: Art Direction, Motion & Video Editing
– Onboarding & Personalization –
The Need for a Personalized Feed
Role: Ideation, Prototyping & Iteration
– The Joy of Driving –
Introducing eBay Motors to the World
Role: Art Direction, Motion & Video Editing
– A High Performance Team –
Built for Enthusiasts in 9 Months
Full spectrum product design
During my time at eBay Motors, we only had two designers and we were constantly juggling different features which were in various phases of development. It requires a lot of discipline, organization and leveraging a component based design library to build out an app which evolved this quickly. It’s a career highlight to have been able to contribute across so many areas, and tap into the various design skillsets I’ve honed during my career.
Principal Designer: Thai Dang
Senior Product Manager: Richard Sipe
Researcher: Amelia Abreau
Product Manger: Jake Martin
Senior Product Designer: Stefan Belavy
An Initial Connection is Key
During our initial testing session, a common piece of feedback emerged when a user first launched our current app: “Why am I seeing these cars on my feed? I don’t like “X” cars.”
Enthusiasts love their cars, but their tastes vary wildly. Creating a personalized experience for each user, makes sense. It unlocks eBay’s vast and unique inventory and connects each user to listings that they’re more likely to browse and engage with.
Finding your dream car is a lot like dating - looks do matter, and attraction is instant. I was inspired by dating apps like Match and Tinder when designing this onboarding feature.
By encouraging new users who just signed up to engage in a fun visual quiz, we quickly got a sense of their interests, which allowed us to quickly calibrate inventory tailored to their tastes. A user's input across a few choices allowed us to create a personalized feed for them in under 10 seconds. The goal was to get them interested in the app right away. Retaining new users is a key mandate for any new app.
Developing an icon set for vehicle categories was initially a daunting task. The initial step was to identify and select the most iconic vehicles from each category.
For example, a Datsun 280z is a classic Japanese vehicle which no one could debate – it’s that iconic, within classic car history. The last step was to refine these tracings and strip away any non-essential elements so it read well at a tiny size. By this point, an illustration becomes a UI icon.
Role: Illustration, Art Direction
Credit: Thai Dang (Feedback)
Escrow is an abstract concept and our team wanted to quickly convince users of the benefits of registering and completing a sale through Escrow.
The illustrations help to make an otherwise dry process a bit more engaging and understandable at a glance.
Role: Illustration, Art Direction
Copywriter: Jake Martin
– Visual Design –
Designing with a Focus on Utility
Role: UX, UI, Art Direction, Illustration
For our initial marketing efforts, we partnered with various established influencers to launch eBay Motors and establish online credibility.
I tapped into my motion graphics skills to create video bumpers for each web episode.
The ident idea was to create a sense of kinetic motion, inherent to the visceral joy of driving.
Motion Graphics, Art Direction
Ride on, Ride on
Images of the open road and freedom are central to car culture. We tapped into pure emotion and a Black Keys style groove to introduce the new eBay Motors app to the world, via YouTube.
The video was done on a shoestring budget and exceeded all of our expectations, with over 2,000,000 views on YouTube. It's really a testament to the eBay Motors platform and its enduring presence among auto enthusiasts.
Video Editing & Motion Graphics
Script: Roberto Prado, Jake Martin
Voiceover: Nick Bradshaw
Sound Mastering: Jaide Belavy
Celebrate the Signature Details
In addition to my standard product design duties and building out our MVP in the app, I volunteered to handle eBay Motors marketing efforts as we didn’t have a designer or agency assigned to this work at the time.
It was a lot of fun building out these digital campaigns which were designed with the enthusiast in mind. Art direction wise, imagery was chosen which celebrated the joy of driving and the beautiful detailing found in these classic collector cars. They really are works of art.
Role: Art Direction, Copy Writing
Marketing Manager: Roberto Prado
eBay Motors was the go to destination for buying and selling a used car, years ago. But market dominance declined due to neglect and aggressive competition. Our team aimed to bring it back to pole position, with a Native App to lead the refresh effort.
Built for Enthusiasts
UX, UI, Art Direction
The Case for Personalization
Personalized Content > Longer User Sessions
Longer Sessions > Increase Conversion Rates
These days, personalization is table stakes for a premium app experience. The quicker a user can find the inventory which resonates with them, the longer they’ll stay on the app and it’s more likely they’ll eventually purchase a vehicle.
First impressions are lasting, and a common piece of feedback we received from new users is that they can’t relate to the vehicles they see when first arriving on the landing page. They quickly lose interest and leave. We needed to solve this issue, else we would continue to a face user retention issue which is a critical metric for any app than just launched.
Gamify the onboarding experience for a personalized homepage feed. By seeing a dynamic update to their feed, a user will feel both empowered and connected to inventory relevant to their tastes. If the inventory speaks to them, they will frequent the app and eventually buy or list a vehicle.
If eBay Motors is truly a vehicle app which caters to Enthusiasts, then it’s crucial to have a feed which speaks to each enthusiast’s unique taste and interests. Engaging users early on will help with both user retention, and eventual purchases from an engaged user base.
"Don't fall in love with your designs." As much as our team and test groups loved this concept, we quickly learned some users hate the concept of onboarding in general. It's essential to include a prominent close button. It's something we failed to do with the first iteration and we paid for it with significant falloff until this was addressed.
Indexing the Inventory
Mapping choices to actual inventory
This was a crucial background activity we needed to calibrate. The aspirational choices the user made, needed to map to actual inventory which eBay had. It took a bit of finessing since we lacked the proper indexing to make this easily happen. It was thus a manual effort requiring constant iteration.
The return listings displayed needed to be relevant to the user, but not so precise that nothing came back. It’s a balancing act which required a deep understanding of how these listings are already tagged within eBay. Richard did a great job to make this happen. On a small team like ours, everyone handles multiple roles outside of their core function.
Senior Product Manager:
Pivoting on the Fly
The original intention of this feature was to personalize the Community Experience so that discussions remained relevant to a users interests, and surfaced in their Community feed.
Upon reviewing this early concept sketch, our product team saw the potential of matching unique inventory to new users. We quickly pivoted to a global Onboarding experience aimed at personalizing the Home Page feed right away.
Working with Developers
Anticipating hesitation with haptic feedback
A well executed feature accounts for all states of interaction – and with haptic devices, a user's hesitation is one of them. The tentative motion treatment of the cards mimics the non-committal nature of a user who can't quite decide.
It was a considerate insight which our lead developer Corey came up with, to address an edge case where a user might not be quite sure which choice to go with.
An active and open collaboration with your dev team is crucial. They often have some of the best ideas, and they can code it into existence.
Lead iOS Engineer:
Keeping up the momentum
Realtime personalization on the Homepage feed
A key finding the team wanted to build upon is the recent spike in favorited items since the feature launched. My theory is that users have been primed to like items within Onboarding and will continue to do so once once they’re on the homepage feed. It seemed natural to extend this “Like” activity once they’re on the feed. Additionally, allow users to remove listings they don't like. The real time feedback builds trust, and this same earned trust is a crucial element for any eventual sale.
• Real time personalization of Home Page feed
• Active removal of unwanted items (a repeat request from our users)
• Continuous improvement of feed, in response to not having a decent standalone algorithm
• Encourage the user, to constantly improve their experience with real time feedback via micro interaction animations