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eBay: Transactions on a Massive Scale


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  • 1. eBay: Transactions on a Massive Scale Christian Rohrer UIE Web Application Summit © 2007 eBay Inc. All rights reserved. No part of these materials may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior permission of eBay Inc. eBay and the eBay logo are registered trademarks of eBay Inc. PayPal and the PayPal logo are registered trademarks of PayPal, Inc. Other trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Please do not take our picture or record the class without asking permission. 2 eBay Inc. confidential 1
  • 2. • Introduction to eBay and current status • History – Single interface for many types of items – Why? No product catalog Flexibility Cost savings (storage) – June 1999 24-hour crash => 99.9999 uptime – Global platform – pros and cons (Europe, Asia diffs) • Implications for web application design – Seven step process for making any changes to the site – Well-defined product development process – Lead to page-by-page engineering versus overall experience design Checkout: eBay – PayPal flow • NPV method of evaluating projects – SYI 2.0 -> 3.0: strong ROI, but compared to what? – SYI 3.0 Motors worse than 2.0 • The emergence of “TSEs” – Motors – Express and Half – Kijiji & Craigslist • What about RIA? 3 eBay Inc. confidential eBay – In the beginning… • Pierre Omidyar on Labor Day Weekend, 1995 • Simple interface (the same for any type of item) • No product catalog • Basic principle: people would do the right thing (pay total strangers) • Final Value Fees – needed to pay ISP bill • Feedback: among the web’s first reputation systems • Met some core user need: Rapid growth 4 eBay Inc. confidential 2
  • 3. eBay Today eBay users trade about $1,640 worth of goods on the site every second. On an average day on eBay… • A vehicle sells every minute • A motors part or accessory sells every second • A diamond ring sells every 2 minutes • Approximately 1.3 million sellers around the world use eBay as a primary or secondary source of income.* * (Source: ACNielsen International Research, June 2006) 5 eBay Inc. confidential eBay’s growth has been amazing 596 • eBay has a global presence in 33 markets. Million • eBay has 203 million registered users worldwide, with Listings* 90 million users in the U.S. and 113 million users in eBay’s international markets. • If eBay were a country, it would be the fifth most populous country in the world behind China, India, the U.S. and Indonesia. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base, April 2005) 203 • Approximately 1.3 million sellers around the world Million Users use eBay as a primary or secondary source of income. Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 * As of Q2-2006. (Source: ACNielsen International Research, June 2006) 6 eBay Inc. confidential 3
  • 4. Site Statistics: in a typical day… June December Growth 1999 2005 Outbound Emails 1M 35 M 35x Total Page Views 54 M 874 M 16x Peak Network 268 16 Gbps 59x Utilization Mbps API Calls 0 91 M NA Availability ~97% 99.94% 50x 7 eBay Inc. confidential 1999 Outage • Site down 22 hours on June 10,1999 • Estimated $3-5 M lost in revenue • Stock price affected • Dominated corporate priorities thereafter • Significant impact on – Engineering investment – Engineering Mgmt – Hardware investment – Software development process • Nearly perfect uptime became a top priority 8 eBay Inc. confidential 4
  • 5. eBay Methods and Processes • eBay Product Approval (7 steps) • Success Metrics for a UX Organization • Delivering Experiences – how all the pieces fit together (or don’t) – Designing Experiences Page by Page – Designing Experiences Holistically 9 eBay Inc. confidential Summary of Project Approval Process 1. Understand the project approval steps. 2. Know the levers that drive your business. 3. Proactively research UX issues. 4. Select a product area to improve. 5. Estimate the ROI. 6. Present proposal on equal footing. 7. Follow up after the project launches -- quantify results and inform future project 10 decisions. eBay Inc. confidential 5
  • 6. 1. Understand Project Approval Procedures Who approves projects? What criteria do they use to approve projects? At eBay: • Submission open Anyone (designer, researcher, business analyst, product manager) can make a project proposal • Senior staff approves projects Approval is comprehensive • Criteria for approval is standard and objective Based on return on investment (ROI), short- and long-term goals 11 eBay Inc. confidential 2. Know Levers That Drive Your Business At eBay, business levers include: • Registered users • Bids • Listings Know the value of those levers: • Example: “What’s the monetary value to eBay of each registered user?” Know how the UX can affect those levers: • Example: “Improving the registration user experience will increase the % of users who complete the registration process” 12 eBay Inc. confidential 6
  • 7. 3. Proactively Research UX Issues with Your Current Product Inform project proposals and design directions through: • Heuristic analysis and best practices • Customer support contacts • Site usage statistics • Baseline usability studies • Field studies, surveys, focus groups 13 eBay Inc. confidential 4. Select a Product Area to Improve Select a specific product area where: • Business benefits will be significant, measurable, and attributed back to your project • Cost and risks will be relatively low • Business benefits are expected to be high • Chances of success are expected to be high 14 eBay Inc. confidential 7
  • 8. 5. Estimate the ROI for Your Project Estimate the cost • How much does it cost to build and maintain? Estimate the benefit: • Identify business levers your project will affect • Understand the current user experience • Use the impact of previous projects as a relative gauge • Be conservative 15 eBay Inc. confidential 6. Present proposal on equal footing Justify project according to standard criteria (ROI). • Don’t position your project as “special” or different. Justify results, not process. • The ends (e.g. increase % of users who complete registration) will justify the means. Know your audience. • Speak to their issues and speak their language. 16 eBay Inc. confidential 8
  • 9. 7. Follow up after the project launches Quantify results. • Determine incremental benefit of the project Communicate those results within the company. • Project success can create a virtuous cycle. Initiative Increased investment Responsibility More resources (people, finances, and time for new initiatives). Success 17 eBay Inc. confidential Example: Consistent Pagination (Before) 18 eBay Inc. confidential 9
  • 10. Example: Consistent Pagination (NPV) Identify the levers: • Increased bids • Reduced development costs Estimate the benefit: • Determine number of bids for items listed beyond page 10 as a percentage of all bids • Estimate increase in bids due to this project • Estimate cost savings for future development 19 eBay Inc. confidential Example: Consistent Pagination (After) 20 eBay Inc. confidential 10
  • 11. View Item (Before) 21 eBay Inc. confidential View Item (After) Contextual: When the user has been outbid, provide the bid box 22 eBay Inc. confidential 11
  • 12. Page by Page Experience Across Sites: Checkout • This experience problem stems from analyzing user experiences page by page, rather than thinking about the lifecycle or the experience through a flow. – Issues: consistency, iconography, number of steps • This can happen when you have a hugely successful website (millions of emails and billions of PVs) – It can be hard to think systematically that far ahead 23 eBay Inc. confidential PayPal Guest User Flow 1 2 • Header change • Logo change 3 • Inconsistent style • Repetitive information 4 5 6 7 24 eBay Inc. confidential 12
  • 13. PayPal Registered User Flow 1 2 • Header change 3 • Logo change • Inconsistent style 4 • Repetitive information 5 6 7 25 eBay Inc. confidential Page by Page: SYI 2.0 to 3.0 Evolution of “Sell Your Item” (SYI) linear flow • Sell Your Item 1.0: 1 pager • Sell Your Item 2.0: Multiple pages for more feature selection • Sell Your Item 3.0: Fewer pages, better content, better help, and better design 26 eBay Inc. confidential 13
  • 14. Evolution of the Sell Hub User Research in 2004 User Research in 2006 showed us… showed us… • No clear call to action for starting the • Clear call to action as to how to begin selling process selling • Not clear what to type in text field • Participants knew what to type and where • Design is very category focused • Decreased emphasis on Category 27 eBay Inc. confidential Evolution of the Category Selector User Research in 2004 User Research in 2006 showed us… showed us… • Difficulty figuring out how to select a • Found selecting a category very easy and second category straightforward • Feared they would overwrite the first • No difficulty adding a second category category selection 28 eBay Inc. confidential 14
  • 15. Evolution of the Customization of SYI User Research in 2004 User Research in 2006 showed us… showed us… • Plus icon confusing • Made the layer look more like a window • Pop-up layer cumbersome, not movable, • Made the layer draggable like a window blocked view • Exposed most of the options by default • Plus icon removed 29 eBay Inc. confidential SYI 3.0 Research 7 User Experience Research methods were utilized 11 Rounds of RITE to address the main questions: Lab Tests (6/04-3/05) RITE Test: Qualitative – Focus on improve the design using prototype Visits and iterative rapid test. (1/05) Visits: Qualitative – The big picture in a natural environment, the “why”, Lab the “aha’s”, the things we may not otherwise see in lab or via survey tests Usability Study (Steve) Usability Study: Qualitative – Controlled environment allows quickly (11/05) identify usability issues and causes of those issues. Longitudinal: Quantitative and qualitative – Identify how pervasive the Longitudinal issues are, ability to compare across designs, by user segment, and Keynote Study (2/05) over time. Objective and subjective measures. Public Opt-in: Quantitative and qualitative – Can track feature usage Public Opt-In and compare to past usage, collect open-ended feedback, and the “opt- (5/06) in” nature leaves Community with a sense of Voice regarding the design. Usability Study: Qualitative – quickly get the holistic view of the Post-Launch product post-launch. Help identify additional issues. Usability Study (5/06) Survey: Quantitative, can track user attitudes, preferences, feature usage, and collect open-ended feedback Surveys 30 (12/05-8/06) eBay Inc. confidential 15
  • 16. SYI 2.0 31 eBay Inc. confidential SYI 3.0 32 eBay Inc. confidential 16
  • 17. SYI 3.0: Business Results • Both first time sellers and experiences sellers had higher completion rates • Both were also quite a bit faster • Feature revenue also increased • Return on investment in UX was worth it • Note: eBay Motors SYI customization 33 eBay Inc. confidential 34 eBay Inc. confidential 17
  • 18. 35 eBay Inc. confidential 36 eBay Inc. confidential 18
  • 19. 37 eBay Inc. confidential 38 eBay Inc. confidential 19
  • 20. 39 eBay Inc. confidential 40 eBay Inc. confidential 20
  • 21. 41 eBay Inc. confidential 42 eBay Inc. confidential 21
  • 22. TSEs allow eBay to design experiences holistically • Motors • Kijiji • eBay Express 43 eBay Inc. confidential 44 eBay Inc. confidential 22
  • 23. 45 eBay Inc. confidential Kijiji has demonstrated strong consumer traction Kijiji Unique Visitors 10 8.7 Million 9 8 Canada Kore a 7 India Taiw an 6 Japan 5 China Italy 4 Sw itze rland 3 Aus tria Fr ance 2 Ge rm any 1 0 a 5 a 5 n 5 Ju 5 O 5 o 5 e 5 n 6 b 6 a 6 a 6 n 6 Ju 6 Sp 5 p 5 Ag 5 p 6 Ag 6 M r-0 M y-0 Ju -0 l-0 ct-0 N v-0 D c-0 Ja -0 Fe -0 M r-0 M y-0 Ju -0 l-0 e -0 A r-0 u -0 A r-0 u -0 • During its first 18 months, Kijiji has grown quickly 46 eBay Inc. confidential 23
  • 24. Kijiji: Global consumer research indicates strong consumer appeal “I at first visited other website, like Yahoo, but later, I shift to “It’s safe, people Kijiji. In Kijiji, it’s easy to are friendly, you operate, you just simply post just go to their information there.” home and buy it.” Taiwan China Simplicity and ease Right from the start of use are you feel meaningful that it’s easy and benefits globally open to all “This site is quite that consumers France simple to operate – appreciate and easy and convenient” value Canada “This site is clearly laid out – it is easy to start straight away” Germany 47 eBay Inc. confidential 48 eBay Inc. confidential 24
  • 25. 49 eBay Inc. confidential 50 eBay Inc. confidential 25
  • 26. Elements of a User Experience It starts by being useful… Brand experience Marketing Functionally, people must campaigns be able to use it… Desirability The way it looks must Usability be pleasing… Utility This helps create It is useful an overall brand to me. experience It meets my needs. Executing well on all of these areas is what creates a great user experience. Research is needed for each. 51 eBay Inc. confidential The Roles of the User Experience Team 52 eBay Inc. confidential 26
  • 27. UED at eBay: Guiding Principles User Experience & Design (UED) collaborates across the organization to design high quality user experiences. Support - UED designs the user experience that supports the vision and goals of the eBay brand, the business units, the functions and the company at large Educate - UED promotes the value of a great user experience across all organizations within the company Champion - UED leads the definition of the user experience, champions the eBay user and drives ease of use initiatives Influence - UED shares insights which shape business strategies 53 eBay Inc. confidential 27