It's an extraordinary time...

Being a designer at eBay has never been better. The global impact of the user experiences & innovation that are being designed now are being felt across the world. It's becoming a new era for cross-commerce. Designers at eBay are moving the needle across an increasingly mobile, local & social context. We built this site to help us showcase the people, culture & careers of those that help make a difference each and every day.

Mobile Commerce? Hello eBay...

How often do you get a chance to design for a $4 billion opportunity?
In 2008, the eBay iPhone app was featured at Apple's WWDC. Six weeks earlier it was just an idea. Thanks to the efforts of a small agile team, the eBay app was ready for the world stage. The app has since been downloaded over 40 million times worldwide and generated $600 million in sales volume in its first year.

"Two years ago, this business didn't exist," says Ryan Melcher, who oversees the Mobile design team.

"Having the world's largest marketplace in the palm of your hand is... empowering!"

It took a lot of nights and weekends to get the first version of the eBay iPhone app to the finish line, but it was worth it. Boats, pianos, vintage cars and even an airplane have been bought and sold on the iPhone app.

Just about every designer inside the company is designing against scenarios that can be realized across mobile AND web contexts."

The eBay iPhone apps have since evolved to offer even more functionality. From instant payment integration with PayPal to a quick selling flow using the camera & barcode scanning, the team has balanced innovative features with a strong stable experience. Targeted app experiences have been developed for Deals, eBay Fashion, and an eBay Classifieds.

In a relatively short time, the eBay mobile app has become a major driver of commerce on eBay. In 2010, these innovations in mobile commerce earned eBay a spot on Fast Company's "50 Most Innovative Companies" list for "transforming the mobile marketplace" and "redefining the (eBay) brand."

"The mobile ecommerce space is evolving rapidly, so we're doing our best to stay ahead of the curve," says Cale Peeples, UX Manager for eBay Mobile. "We're working on making the eBay app available for more mobile platforms and to offer more tailored shopping experiences for different retail verticals."


Senior Design Manager


Principal Designer

From Maine to California to Hawaii to Holland, Carrie Buckingham's design career has taken her to places near and far. So what brought her back to California? Partly it was the Santa Cruz sun and surf, but mostly it was for the creative challenge, and the opportunity to make a difference in a big way at a very big website: eBay.

As a principal designer in eBay's Design Systems Group (DSG), Carrie is "working to reshape the eBay commerce experience through the creation and evolution of its design system." Evolution is a good way to describe it, because DSG is charged with simplifying and updating eBay's look while maintaining the spirit that makes eBay a fun and dynamic place to shop.

Carrie's prior experience at European publishing powerhouse gave her some of the know-how she now uses every day.

"Immersing myself in, and adapting to the needs of the Dutch online shopping culture was truly humbling," she recalled. Also like eBay,'s scale of offerings is vast and crosses international borders.

Every day, Carrie and the Design Systems Group team develop and extend new design elements and interaction guidelines. Sometimes the patterns work, and sometimes adjustments are needed, but the guiding principles are always there: to deliver simple, scalable and user-friendly design.

"For me, good design is a combination of different qualities. I gauge the strength of a design by the time it takes for me to understand it, and my ease of interacting with it. It helps if it's bad ass lookin' too!" she laughs. "I'm a hard sell, but I love the feeling of being inspired by new designs."


Senior Design Manager

On some nights, deep in the heart of San Francisco's South of Market (SoMa)
district, you'll find Karlyn behind the wheels of steel, movin' the crowd
with a mix of Tech House and Techno tunes
. But by day,
you're more likely to find her doing her thing to move the needle in a different way:
designing user experiences at eBay.

As a DJ LadyHouse, Karlyn has traveled the world and spun records in some
pretty exotic locales in Europe, Asia and South America, including a memorable side
trip to Machu Picchu after playing a gig in Lima, Peru. It's pretty heady stuff to see a
huge crowd of people dancing to your beats, but ask Karlyn about her most
memorable accomplishments lately, and she'll hold up her phone and open the eBay
mobile app.

Since its debut in June 2008 with the launch of the Apple App Store, the eBay iPhone
app has blazed a trail in mobile commerce. As one of the first apps that gave iPhone
users the option to shop, bid and buy while on the go, the eBay iPhone app gen-
erated over $600 million in sales volume in its first year. In its second year, it
drove $2 billion in sales, and is set to double that in its third year.

These results are remarkable when you consider that the first version was
created in five weeks, with a very small, tight-knit team, including Karlyn
as the design lead; well, actually, doing most of the design work, period.

"I had worked on designing the eBay homepage, My eBay, item pages,
and layers for bidding on eBay, so I was familiar with all of the tasks
that users would need to do when they'd be using eBay on the go,
except for search. For that, I pulled in another designer to help
refine the search experience on the iPhone."

"Designing at eBay is a very collaborative process," says
Karlyn. "It reminds me of what it's like when I work on my music
with other people. I might lay down the vocals, while another
person works on the other parts of the track. Everyone has
something to offer different skills that they bring to the table.
And when all of the parts come together,
it's magic."

Designing for Fashion

It's an exciting time to be a designer at eBay, especially for the fashion vertical. Only a year old, this is a growing 'start-up' inside our company. is focused on bringing the ultimate fashionista into a unique experience, offering a personal point of view, editorializing eBay's merchandise.
Derek Lam, an American fashion designer, is using and social media to create an exclusive line of clothing for eBay. Amanda Johnson, a Lead Designer at eBay, is helping to design and enable these new experiences for eBay fashion worldwide. Both of these designers represent the company's strong commitment, internally and externally, to connect industry experience and passion for the category.
The fashion team has since grown from a core of six employees to several dozen in its first year.
"Designing for a vertical context allows the designer to create targeted tools for targeted tasks," says Dane, Director of the Verticals design group. "We have an opportunity to place colleagues with deep industry experience into an

environment that allows them to design and re-imagine experiences for eBay's deep and varied inventory."
The designer's role is to visualize the product before it's built, interpreting a cross-disciplinary group of entrepreneurs, developers and researchers to test and iterate on the design.
"In many cases, we're asked to visualize the product at the highest fidelity possible, so we can comprehend what's needed to build and execute it," says Amanda. "We can use the site to test and iterate on the product rapidly. On larger initiatives, we'll build rich working prototypes to collect feedback in multiple countries. This is a proactive, creative team leaning into opportu- nities. I was thrilled to see this kind of activity at eBay."

We're hiring vertical designers at eBay.

"In a matter of weeks, we were ready to go."

Diamond Ring Designer

Transforming a culture takes time, and new product stories often build in strength with each re-telling. When eBay wanted to prove-out agile development with vertical experiences, they created a series of 'tiger' teams to quickly build and iterate on a few key shopping initiatives. One of these targeted-shopping experiences became
How do you find certified diamonds from trusted sellers?
That question was quickly addressed and designed by a small group of designers and developers. eBay created a series of project experiments to test how it could quickly build product experiences by using small & capable teams.

"In a matter of weeks, we had researched the problem, built a prototype and created a validated design that was ready to build & show our buyers & sellers," says Dane Howard. "At the time, we were using this experience to test real product experiences, but also prove to ourselves that we could work quickly."

This led to the design of eBay's garden, a place where product ideas on eBay could grow and thrive.

"The diamond ring designer represented a shift in thinking that has led to several process and product innovations over the past year," says Hema Budaraju, project manager on the project. "Diamond ring designer on ebay offers a unique, simple and distinct way to compare rings and settings."


Thinking Outside

the Box

By our calculations, if every box gets reused at least five
times, we could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million
gallons of water and conserve enough energy to power 49
homes for a year. We've also left plenty of space on the boxes
for you – and everyone else who receives the box – to write a
personal message to the next person in the chain, giving
every box a life of its very own. The history of each
box can also be tracked through a virtual
community where buyers and sellers can
connect online.
Every spring, eBay
hosts an Innovation Expo

that invites eBay employees,
from every department and level
of the organization, to develop
prototypes for new products and
breakthrough innovations
that benefit our buyers and

This year's winner was an idea called 'simple
green shipping.' Basically, it's an environmentally
friendly, durable box that's been designed to be
used over and over and over again. We think the
idea of 'reuse' is a pretty powerful idea —
especially in a marketplace where many buyers
are also sellers.

"eBay allows me to design on an economic scale.
It's not just a web company in the valley,"
says Jenny Ihrie, Interaction designer at eBay.

eBay Group Gifts

You've just been given permission to design
for social commerce. What is Social Commerce?

You know the scenario: You want to give a special present, but you don't want to shoulder the entire cost of a nice gift. So you ask your friends, relatives and co-workers to chip in — you collect the money, buy the gift and everyone signs the card. But what happens when everyone lives in different cities?

eBay uses problems like these as ingredients for workshops they call 'vizKitchens' — intense workshops led by design-thinking to pre-visualize products and services for eBay. eBay Group Gifts was a result of such a workshop...

"Once we had these concepts down and mapped out the flows, I drew storyboards that would show how an eBay customer would use each product. These storyboards were shown to U.S. and U.K. eBay customers through online focus groups who gave feedback on which ideas appealed most to them."
- Deb Aoki, Full-time Content Strategist, Part-time Storyboard Artist
"It was fascinating to get this kind of real-time feedback from customers even before we designed page mock-ups or wrote code, we got to see what resonated with people and what didn't, because their comments weren't always what we expected to hear. A lot of their suggestions were incorporated into our designs as we developed Group Gifts into a real, working product."
- Deb Aoki
"These focus groups produced many unanimous 'aha' reactions from users, with younger users who are steeped in using social applications coming up with use cases for it that we hadn't anticipated, and older users finding it to make the process of giving a gift in tandem very easy."
- Andy Palmer, Manager of Buyer Experience
"Working on eBay Group Gifts was a really satisfying experience, because I got to work on it from the beginning to end – from drawing storyboards and incorporating user feedback into the design of the product, to writing the content for the user interface and the initial marketing campaigns, It was also nice to be reminded that eBay can be more than just a place to shop – it can provide fun, new ways to bring people together."
- Deb Aoki