eBay and StubHub Designers Join Panel to Discuss Trends at SF Design Week

Sebastian Rupley, eBay News Team

Panelists discussed designing around trust, diversity, reputation systems and more.

Recently, eBay and StubHub welcomed designers from the Bay Area to a panel discussion in conjunction with SF Design Week. The panel featured eBay, StubHub, Airbnb and Uber, where their designers discussed issues ranging from new industry trends to the importance of diversity in the design community.

The panelists included:

-       Dave Lippman, VP of Design and Executive Creative Director, eBay

-       Karlyn Neel, Director of User Experience, StubHub

-       Katie Dill, Head of User Experience Design, Airbnb

-       Christine Fernandez, Senior Design Manager, Expansion Products, Uber

Bradford Shellhammer, Senior Director of Curation & Merchandising at eBay, moderated the panel.

Trust and Design

With each panelist working at marketplaces in various industries, the panelists spoke about the importance of trust, especially since each of these platforms help to make human connections. For all panelists, trust has impacted platform design. Everything from reputation protection features, to rating systems, is top-of-mind, when designing for consumers.

“From creating a reputation system, to allowing customers to read reviews, designing to promote trust has a huge impact,” said Airbnb’s Dill.

“If you don’t trust a seller on eBay, if you don’t feel that an item is going to come as described, you’re not going to buy it and the transaction isn’t going to happen,” said Neel, who has experience at both eBay and StubHub. “We design around programs for our marketplaces that emphasize that we stand behind transactions. StubHub’s FanProtect Guarantee and eBay Buyer Protection – these programs are very important parts of our platform which instill trust."

With regard to eBay, Lippman added that eBay has one of the oldest, most proven reputation systems in all of ecommerce. “Trust signals can differ widely from seller to seller, whether you’re talking about someone trying to get rid of a cell phone or a seller overseas,” he noted. “Design has to reflect that.”

“We design around new technologies and systems that help customers find out about their drivers through ratings, and much more,” said Uber’s Fernandez. She noted that Uber is also working with facial recognition technology to help with identity and authentication.

You Say Tomato….

Another point of commonality between the businesses is that each are serving a global and diverse customer base. The panelists emphasized that diverse employee bases, and designing around such diversity, can help drive success across borders and cultures. They noted that tunnel vision is the enemy, but also noted that following unified brand guidelines has to be balanced with designing around cultural diversity in varying regions.

“All of us are at global companies,” said Airbnb’s Dill. “As we design, we need to understand what the rest of the world is doing. We need to know what it is like to be in a certain place.”  Dill added that Airbnb is propagating local teams in regions around the world to drive such understanding, and their wisdom can help drive good design.

Overall trust, diversity and design go hand in hand. eBay, StubHub, AirBnb and Uber continue to strive to make users feel safe from the beginning of engaging with the sites and other users until their transactions are complete.

For much more good content from the designers who participated in SF Design Week, visit the event’s blog.