How eBay won at the internet with excellent use of second screen devices. (An example of great user experience journey)

Posted on Apr 19, 2014

Now that was a very brazen title, but I’ll try to explain how my recent experience of using eBay bowled me over.

I was doing the typical easter clear out, and decided to sell a few items on eBay. I had previously taken a few photo’s of the item I wanted to sell on my mobile device, and had a few images that I had grabbed from the internet, and a good description from the manufacturers website on my laptop.

The conundrum

The assets that I needed to prepare the listing was spread over two devices.

On deciding that it would be most efficient for me to start preparing the listing on my laptop, rather than my mobile device (ease of writing out a detailed description quickly, and more screen space to see what I was doing). I set about creating the listing. Adding the photo’s that were saved on my computer, the manufacturers description, and having in the back of my mind that it would’ve been a lot simpler to have everything in one place.

I needed to find a workaround that allowed me to add the assets from both devices. My work around idea was to post the listing then edit it with my mobile device to upload the photos that were stored on it.

Smart use of second screens

However during the listing creation process, when adding images, eBay asked me whether I would like to add additional images from my computer, or from my mobile device.

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eBay then sent a link to my mobile device allowing me to add images to the draft listing. Saving me the hassle of trying to figure out a way of getting the images from my mobile device to my computer.

UX gold

This use of my second screen allowed me to complete the task of posting my listing with relative ease. eBay recognised the fact that users are more likely to take photo’s on their mobile device, than on their camera, or laptop, and would feel more comfortable creating a listing on their computer.

I can imagine that this functionality that eBay have built in would reduce the number of users dropping out,  thinking “to hell with this” it will take me too long to gather all the assets from my different device that I would need to create a listing.

I was dedicated, I had the time on my hands, and I was willing to spend the time creating the listing, and subsequently found this little UX gem. A casual eBay user might not have. I would recommend that eBay market the functionality more, letting their users know just how easy it is to add images from multiple devices to a listing.



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