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Daniel Rabinovich Web20 San Francisco

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Slides for my talk at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.

@drabinovich

http://www.web2expo.com/webexsf2011/public/schedule/detail/16735

Published in: Technology, Design

Daniel Rabinovich Web20 San Francisco

  1. 1. Don´t listen to yourself: successfully redesigning the leading e-commerce platform in Latin America <ul><li>Daniel Rabinovich CTO </li></ul><ul><li>www.mercadolibre.com </li></ul><ul><li>@drabinovich </li></ul>
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Who we are (2’) </li></ul><ul><li>Why we were sidetracked </li></ul><ul><li>The Redesign </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who we are <ul><li>MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI) is the largest e-commerce platform in Latin America and one of the top 50 sites in the world. </li></ul>Argentina Q3 YTD 09 Revenue: $63.6M % total: 51% YoY: 11% Brazil Q3 YTD 09 Revenue: $19.0M % total: 15% YoY: 33% Argentina Q3 YTD 09 Revenue: $11.0M % total: 9% YoY: 3% Mexico Q3 YTD 09 Revenue: $7.1M % total: 6% YoY: 48% Others Mexico Colombia Venezuela Chile Brazil Ecuador Perú Uruguay Panamá Costa Rica Dominican Republic Remote operations Local operations
  4. 4. We lead in every market we operate in ComScore MMX – Brazil Retail ComScore MMX – Argentina Retail ComScore MMX – Latin America Retail ComScore MMX – Mexico Retail
  5. 5. Agenda <ul><li>Who we are (2’) </li></ul><ul><li>Why we were sidetracked </li></ul><ul><li>The Redesign </li></ul>
  6. 6. First Rule of Usability: Don’t Listen to Users <ul><li>The greatest usability barrier was the preponderance of cool design. Most projects were ruled by usability opponents who preferred complexity over simplicity. </li></ul><ul><li>Too frequently, I hear about companies basing their designs on user input obtained through misguided methods. A typical example? Create a few alternative designs, show them to a group of users, and ask which one they prefer. Wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>To discover which designs work best, watch users as they attempt to perform tasks with the user interface. This method is so simple that many people overlook it. </li></ul>Jakob Nielsen
  7. 7. How to get it right: watch instead of listen <ul><li>Watch what people actually do. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not believe what people say they do . </li></ul><ul><li>Definitely don't believe what people predict they may do in the future. </li></ul>Jakob Nielsen
  8. 8. How we got it wrong: listened to our own needs <ul><li>We claimed to focused on users… </li></ul><ul><li>… but developed the ability to explain away many design mistakes in the name of revenues or features </li></ul><ul><li>We were really designing around two wrong principles: </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue generation trumped usability </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering challenges/feature richness trumped usability </li></ul>
  9. 9. By focusing on wrong principles we developed a series of “design anti-patterns” <ul><li>Anti pattern #1: Charge for a good experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti pattern #2: If it brings eyeballs to site, it is good. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti pattern #3: If it brings revenue, then it is worth doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti pattern #4: All BU’s need exposure on the HomePage </li></ul><ul><li>Anti pattern #5: Complexity is a sing of feature richness </li></ul>
  10. 10. Agenda <ul><li>Who we are (2’) </li></ul><ul><li>Why we were sidetracked </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In-depth look at each anti-pattern </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Redesign </li></ul>
  11. 11. AP #1: Charge for a good experience <ul><li>Revenue opportunity: charge for “picture in listing pages” </li></ul><ul><li>It was the most profitable “Optional Feature Fee” </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: No pictures in search results for millions of queries… </li></ul>
  12. 12. AP #1: Charge for a good experience (II) <ul><li>Revenue Opportunity: charge for “highlight your item” </li></ul><ul><li>It was the second most profitable “Optional Feature Fee” </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: “Happy” sellers, overwhelmed buyers… </li></ul>
  13. 13. AP #2: If it brings eyeballs to site, it is good <ul><li>Traffic opportunity: Add “harmless” content for Search Engines </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic opportunity: Users don’t even see footers. Let´s use them for something “productive”… </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: loads of useless content that confuses buyers </li></ul>
  14. 14. AP #3: If it brings revenue, then it is worth doing <ul><li>Advertisers want to be above the fold </li></ul><ul><li>Should lower featured items </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: “hidden” loss of revenues from poorer conversion rates as a consequence of the ads </li></ul>
  15. 15. AP #4: All BU’s need exposure on the HomePage <ul><li>Site is treated as real estate that has to be distributed among BU’s. Outcome: site overload </li></ul>
  16. 16. AP #5: Complexity is a sing of feature richness <ul><li>Users demand hundreds of features </li></ul><ul><li>Should try to please everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: overwhelmed users </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Solving these anti-patterns </li></ul><ul><li>required much more than “Web Design”… </li></ul>
  18. 18. Agenda <ul><li>Who we are (2’) </li></ul><ul><li>Why we were sidetracked </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In-depth look at each anti-pattern </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Redesign </li></ul>
  19. 19. Re-think the pricing model <ul><li>It was neccessary to fix revenue induced anti patterns </li></ul>Business Units Pricing Model Revenue streams
  20. 20. From “Featured Fees” to “Exposure Fees” <ul><li>There is no manuvering room if you charge for “visual highlights” </li></ul>Old Optional Feature Fees New “Listing Types” allow cleaner results
  21. 21. Never charge for delivering a good experience <ul><li>Eliminated “Picture in Listing Pages” Optional Feature Fee </li></ul>Old version: paid pictures in listing pages Same Search Query with New Version(all pictures for free)
  22. 22. The real cost of advertising and communicating <ul><li>Minimizing the “vicious cycle” of visual competition </li></ul>Old Home Page New Home Page
  23. 23. Simplify, simplify Thoreau Slide inspired from a Chris Nodder Presentation
  24. 24. <ul><li>Keep what the users acually use, not what managers *think* it´s useful </li></ul>Simplicity first
  25. 25. <ul><li>Keep what the users acually use, not what managers *think* it´s useful </li></ul>Nothing is “harmless” Previous Scroll Bottom (1024x768) Current Scroll Bottom (1024x768)
  26. 26. <ul><li>Focus on HTTP requests and implementing CDNs. </li></ul>Velocity first Oct 2009 Apr 2010
  27. 27. <ul><li>Favor the majority and make choices for them </li></ul>Use the crowd to help new users Automatic “zoom in”: Demand data was concentrated in “Players” and not “Accessories” Top Nav Bar for “Players”: Specific facets
  28. 28. <ul><li>Lowered bounce rates, decreased time on page and accelerated Successful Items </li></ul>Direct Operational Metrics
  29. 29. Agenda <ul><li>Who we are (2’) </li></ul><ul><li>Why we were sidetracked </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In-depth look at each anti-pattern </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Redesign </li></ul><ul><li>Wrapping up </li></ul>
  30. 30. Wrapping up… <ul><li>User Experience goes far beyond “Web Design”. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires “true commitment”, usually from the CEO. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Unstable Organizational Equilibrium”. Must apply force to achieve collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>A/B testing is useless when evaluating dramatic changes. </li></ul><ul><li>Usability Testing is key. </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of Hippos (Highest Paid People´s Opinion). </li></ul><ul><li>Going after UX, everything could be changed. Even your business model. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Don´t listen to yourself: successfully redesigning the leading e-commerce platform in Latin America <ul><li>Daniel Rabinovich CTO </li></ul><ul><li>www.mercadolibre.com </li></ul><ul><li>@drabinovich </li></ul>

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