Initial Thoughts

Let me just start off by saying that, although this article by the Design Explosions is very long, it is extremely beneficial. I think it will change how I prototype and design all UX experiences. I love the way that Design Explosions set up this post, by comparing Apple maps and Google maps. They explained what they thought the designers were thinking. They stuck to their word and did not judge, but explained what Apple and Google did does make sense. So, using the same technique as the Design Explosions, I am going to talk about the eBay’s current website and the redesign that I made.

The Three Guidelines

The group of Design Explosion has three guidelines when they are analyzing the work of other teams and those are:

1. The team that built these products are smart and talented.

2. There are many things we can’t know without joining the team.

3. Design Explosion is here to teach, not judge.

The first two points made me realize a lot of things. My class audited and redesigned eBay for a couple months. While working on this project, my first instinct was to focus on all of the negatives of eBay and ask “why the heck is it designed this way?!” or “who thought this was a good idea…” and redesign from what I thought were their flaws. This article made me realize that you know what, maybe eBay had a reason for everything that they had done. It’s eBay, a billion dollar company, of course they have some of the best designers working for them. And there obviously are many things I can’t know without joining the team.

Canvas Layout

These are both of the screens side-by-side. The left side is eBay’s current desktop page and the right is a redesign of mine. Quite a big difference here. eBay is trying to get a lot of information out to the user, and uses a lot of different sized boxes that fill up the page. I am also using the same idea but placing them in a more repetitive pattern with a limited amount of information on the front page. So let’s get a closer look at some of the elements on the home page.

Navigation and Search Field

Starting with eBay’s current page again, here they are throwing a lot of information at you. You can shop by category, search, log into your eBay, go to your cart, check your notifications, buy gift cards, check out daily deals, look at daily deals, look at collections, look at who you’re following, sell, check out my eBay, look at sub categories for products, and get to help & contact. (whew.) That seems like a lot of information on one page. Is it necessary? Maybe. Perhaps the designers thought this information was all a necessity for the home page, and without this information it would be hard to find. But as Design Explosions stated: “two easy taps is better than one hard one.” I took that line into consideration while creating the header for eBay. I wanted to make it as simple as possible. The search bar is still prominent, and you can find the categories by clicking the drop down arrow. (searching and searching by category tie together which is why I combined them.) I included the icons I thought were most necessary: a person icon(which would include all user information and selling), shopping cart, and a charity page icon.

Main Page Content

eBay’s main page content includes Today’s Deals, Speciality gifts, Advertising, and Featured Collections. The Deals is the first box you see on the home page because it is highlighted with a royal purple background. Everyone loves a great deal, so this makes sense why they highlighted it. The Featured Collections is something that our class fought over for quite awhile. Our class saw these of groups of products that did not relate to any specific user. We saw it as annoying and we couldn’t relate to it. eBay’s design team probably thought of it as a easy way to browse products you’d never be able to search on your own. On the eBay page I designed, the first thing you see are the charities that eBay and eBay sellers support. This is important because eBay already supports thousands of charities but does not show it. After doing many hours of research, our class found eBay’s reputation to be untrustworthy. If eBay focuses on charities, buyers and sellers may have more trust and goodwill. Also featured on the page is “we thought you’d like this,” and these would be products that relate to other things the user has looked at before. It is important to have the users best interests in mind at all times.


The article by The Design Explosions is very beneficial. It made me look at UX design completely differently. It’s important to remember that: the team that built these products are smart and talented and there are many things we can’t know without joining the team. While comparing eBay’s current home page and my redesigned one, I’ve realized that neither of these designs are perfect. But for each design there is a reason behind everything, it may just be hard to see sometimes, so don’t be too quick to judge.

This post was written by carlievank

Posted March 13, 2017 7:32 pm