Evolving an Internet Icon
with a Fresh Design System

A beloved Internet icon, eBay has always been the most fun place to buy and sell online. However, somewhere in the process of building a global marketplace and fending off competitors, the site design suffered. For a fresh perspective on an aging design, eBay asked us to help them express their evolving brand attributes in streamlined, modern, and inspired visual and interaction systems.

From UI Styles to an Interaction System

Before even thinking about pages or screens, we focused on a broader vision for the experience through interaction patterns and systems for seven key platform pages. We came up with dozens of highly deliberate UI elements, before narrowing them down and organizing them into themes. In close collaboration with eBay's product team, we compiled three coherent concepts to put in front of users.

Defining, Expanding, and Refining a Concept

Our direction, dubbed BuyBright, was a standout in user tests and became an instant favorite among the project teams. We then moved into a refinement stage in which we iterated, pressure tested, mastered, and extended the initial direction to additional interfaces and scenarios. We also had the pleasure of handcrafting hundreds of icons for the new system, some of which had remained untouched since the company’s inception in 1995.

A Roadmap to Make it Real

To help the eBay team realize our redesign, we built a robust library of design and interaction patterns for their global team of 1,000 engineers. Collectively, this work helped internal teams make the leap from the old to the new and drive a unified vision throughout the organization.

eBay is pulling its old clunky site into the modern age with a major redesign and new features inspired by its younger, buzzier tech rivals. CNN Money

Imagining a Social eBay

In addition to our core enhancements, we created preliminary concepts for a more social eBay home page. These included integrated social feeds for a personalized home page experience inspired and defined by eBay's vast community of buyers and sellers.


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