Explore what eBay might do to provide more useful, less subjective information to buyers and sellers
We helped eBay research and develop concepts for new feedback approaches to be fleshed out, tested, and iterated in a subsequent phase of work.
I participated in the project for 60 weeks consisting of 4 phases. In each phase, I worked with one designer and one design director. The focus of each phase was dependent on stakeholder priorities and the progress of testing in previous phases.
The process in each phase was not linear but can be summarized as below.
1Designed and conducted Qual testing in US for overall feedback experience
2Designed and created prototypes for global qual and quant testing (US, UK, Germany and China)
3Concept prototypes for internal use
4Strategy documents and recommendations for feedback system from shopping to post-transaction
Project scope was huge, with years of historical documents.
We created flows, diagrams, and models to reflect the current system, historical changes, and perceived user assumptions. These visualizations were useful not only for communication with clients and establishing boundaries, but also for creating a baseline for our design work.
Project scope and requirements kept changing, as did the stakeholders involved.
The key to aligning everyone was to communicate effectively. We complied case studies and created visual models to:
1Demonstrate our previous efforts;
2Repeat what we heard;
3Ask for clarification.
Another key to good communication was to archive old concepts, assumptions, questions, and results comprehensively. They were useful for compiling deliverables and for supporting new work on previous phases.
Stakeholders were reluctant to incorporate new concepts.
In order to get buy-in on new concepts, we collected relevant research findings from psychological literature and showed how it supported our assumptions. As a result, some of these concepts were accepted for future testing.
This was a large-scope project with lots of back-and-forth and uncertainties. This made it a great opportunity to explore and practice both strategic and tactical design skills.
What I’ve learned…
I learned a lot from the project, especially:
1the importance of talking with users to verify assumptions
2the power of communicating assumptions and ideas by diagrams, models, and flows, and best practices for presenting design process outcomes
3choosing the right prototyping tools based on the design requirements (I have used Invision, Framer.js and Justinmind for prototypes in this project.)
Something about teamwork...
As the phases of this project changed, I worked directly with different designers with various personalities, backgrounds, and experience. I learned a lot about how to work with different types of designers to increase team efficiency and momentum.
Alan Cooper categorized two designer types in the book "About Face": the generator and the synthesizer. Based on his descriptions, I found I’ve worked with both generators and synthesizers in this project. When working with synthesizing designers, I tend to be more a generator. But the synthesis skills I learned in those situations can be applied when I work with an extreme generator next time.
If we had had more time...
1Find and better archive the threads behind every big decision point
2More in-person meetings and workshops
3Do some experimental user research and observation such as conducting a sidewalk sale and collecting customer’s feedback. Then compare the result with online shopping experience.