Setting a solid foundation of user research and iterative testing

With the aim of educating stakeholders about their unique mission and attracting new talent, eBay initiated a redesign for their corporate website.

Top priorities included:

  • Reinvigorating the brand
  • Storytelling with a more human-centric approach
  • Vivid visual design
  • Leveraging company data
  • Enticing new talent, to connect more people to more opportunity

Looking to our UX and User Research team, eBay tasked us to create a world-class responsive web presence, to launch eBay into a new era.

Overcoming Obstacles

Two obstacles surfaced early on, jeopardizing the outcome of a successful project: an unwillingness to invest in research, and a complex stakeholder network.

Wait...First Customer Experience Insights

As with most projects, budgets and timelines were extremely tight and research originally was an unfortunate casualty.

A committed User Research and UX team impressed upon the stakeholders that to lay the groundwork for an optimal experience it was essential to put people first. Engaging in user experience research was a must, for gaining the insights that would inspire the right architecture, design and content.

Fortunately, the stakeholders agreed and figured a way to fit user research into the already compressed budget and timeline. The research team conducted multiple rounds of testing; each stage iteratively informed the redesign. The team analyzed findings from in-lab and remote interviews. This helped establish qualitative and quantitative benchmarks and insights.

  1. For the first testing stage, we interviewed recent hires and eBay applicants to find out what was most important in a careers website. This enabled the UX team to focus on essential content and features. In addition, site visitors voluntarily completed a series of tasks and qualitative questions, setting a benchmark of task completion and reactions to the old site.
  2. A second stage of html prototype testing refactored and informed the UX and design, resulting in further enhancements.
  3. A third and final stage of user testing measured performance post-launch, and compared results to the earlier benchmarks.
Navigating A Complex Stakeholder Network

Finding the right cadence for collaborating within eBay’s complex stakeholder network necessitated the creation of a proprietary workflow. This enabled more seamless coordination, engaging the right stakeholders at the right time, without shifting the timeline.

Putting It All Together

Reinforced with user research findings, the team outlined an agile creative approach that involved creative workshops, sketching, and HTML-based prototypes.

"Delivered on time and to such a high standard and thank you to the team for creating such compelling content. A really superb team effort that sets a wonderful stage for telling our eBay story tomorrow and in the coming months and years. Well done and thank you!”

– Claire Dixon, VP Global Communications, eBay Inc.

Tracking requirements, progress and deliverables via this agile process ensured meeting milestones within an aggressive timeline:

  • Requirements were prioritized by readiness and complexity keeping a steady workflow.
  • Ideation was explored through workshops and sketching with key stakeholders. This empowered decision-making and communications across the teams.
  • Daily stand-ups tightly aligned to the workflow, enabling the right stakeholders to engage at the relevant time to make quick adjustments and streamline approvals. This reduced the number of formal reviews, while centralizing point-to-point communications.

This approach provided a single point of reference for developers, designers, content producers, project managers, and stakeholders, increasing efficiencies across the team.

The Results

Overall, the redesigned site outperformed the old version in task success and elicited more positive reactions from the job seekers. The average job seeking task success rate increased 13.6% on the redesigned site. Additionally, the perceived value of the content in each task increased for the redesigned site.

“Amazing! Congrats everyone. Looks fantastic!"

- RJ Pittman, SVP, Chief Product Officer, eBay Inc

Reactions to the new design highlighted clear layout, organization, visual appeal, and informative content. Compared to the previous study, the averages of all of the questions related to visual appeal increased. The visual design saw a marked increase in positive feedback, resulting in 18% of the positive comments.

“I saw the final version on Thursday, and I think it is really spectacular. Ebay Inc. really feels like the brand and the company we all want it to be. I know how hard this team worked on it, and we will announce it and show it off today. A++!"

- Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay Inc.

“Just wanted to say congrats and send a big THANK YOU to everyone on the team for your hard work and strong contributions to the upcoming launch of the new corporate site. I showed the site to Devin today and he absolutely LOVED it – in fact, he starting clapping during the presentation!”

- Lars Kongshem, Director, Digital Channels & Editorial Content, eBay, Inc

Strategic Insight: This site launch would have looked very different without the insights gleaned from user research. The UX team would not have had clear user stories. Without clear user stories, the site's design would certainly have fallen short of expectations. And a design would have been developed and delivered, but not validated with users. By taking a step back in the midst of an aggressive timeline, to integrate research, eBay understood that it would likely deliver a measurable ROI. And they were rewarded. Find out how other companies can do the same. More…


  • About eBay: Among the top 10 of global retail brands, eBay's mission is to be the world’s favorite destination for discovering great value and unique selection.
  • Process:Prototyping + Testing
  • Skills: Research, UX Architecture, Prototyping
Visit Prototype Visit Website