The SpoolCast with Jared Spool

The SpoolCast has been bringing UX learning to designers’ ears around the world since 2005. Dozens and dozens of hours of Jared Spool interviewing some of the greatest minds in design are available for you to explore.

Episode #28 Christian Rohrer - eBay’s Transactions on a Massive Scale

May 21, 2007  ·  63 minutes

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In this audio recording from January's UIE Web App Summit, eBay's Christian Rohrer provides a peek behind the curtain at eBay's User Experience (UX) process.

Show Notes

At first glance, eBay is a very simple site: sellers post products and buyers bid on them. A little application originally built to sell PEZ dispensers, eBay is elegant in how simple it all seems to work. But dig a little deeper and it becomes clear how incredible the eBay system really is.

A series of tightly coupled web-based applications, eBay provides a system that can handle selling practically any object, from office supplies to automobiles, from computer equipment to software companies. It would be difficult to find a site that completes the same amount of business per minute as eBay. A change that results in a minor dip in sales could equate to huge monetary losses. Given these challenges, how does eBay approach their design decisions?

Enter Christian Rohrer, Director of User Experience Research at eBay. In this presentation from January's UIE Web App Summit, Christian provides a peek behind the curtain at eBay's User Experience (UX) process. In this information-packed talk, Christian discusses:

» The unique challenges of creating a successful user experience with a sophisticated application like eBay » The UX team's key role in eBay's overall business strategy » The evolution of several eBay UI elements based on solid user research and key business levers » eBay's focus on ROI to justify design decisions » The rationale behind the redesign of areas of, including the site pagination and registration process

[ Producer's Note: The recording begins a couple of minutes after Christian started his presentation. Despite this small technical issue, we believe this content is far too valuable for you to miss. I think you'll agree. We also expect to post a transcript of Christian's talk in the next few days. Stay tuned! ]