What is Facebook Marketplace?
Marketplace is a product in the Facebook ecosystem that evolved from humble "buy & sell" groups in facebook. Marketplace is a peer to peer selling and buying platform within the facebook community primarily aimed at selling used products. Although, lately facebook started letting businesses venture into the P2P domain making it also a B2C platformThis makes facebook marketplace a direct competitor for the likes of Gumtree, eBay & Craigslist. The items sold are as small as used clickers to cars and apartment listings.
About the Redesign
Challenge: Finding 2 pain points that users face and redesign their experience
Solution: A change in the Information Architecture of the home page to make the browsing experience more personal. Make selling multiple products more efficient through price tagging items in photos.
Timeline: 1 week Focus: Interaction Design, Information Architecture
My Role: Understand the current structure of facebook and its design language. Identify pain points through usability studies and build high fidelity comps.
How might we improve the browsing experience for the users and make shopping and selling more efficient ?
Consumers who are mostly looking for second hand goods that are cheap. They know exactly what they want to buy and search for those products. They usually trust the buy & sell groups they are a part of.
People who sell second hand goods when they don't need them. Usually selling it to people from their community. They aren't really worried about the money they make through these transactions. They want an easy way to sell their products with minimal interaction.
People who sell upcycled goods for a slightly higher price to make money. They are more worried about their ratings and how they come across to their buyers.
Ecommerce businesses that have a totally separate flow from marketplace. They are not a part of the community but bring facebook revenue
My main focus is on Buyers and Individual/hobbyist sellers as they form the majority of the ecosystem at facebook marketplace.
I found 27 issues which focused on error prevention, consistency, recognition, flexibility and efficiency.
2 pages stood out that had the maximum number of Heuristics violated. These were the pages I focused to probe on in my Qualitative interviews:
1. Home Page (Navigation)
2. Product Page
Qualitative User Interviews
To understand my problem space better I interviewed 5 people of mixed demographics who are active users of facebook marketplace. This gave me an in depth understanding of the users pain points.
Some of the findings through qualitative interviews made my problem definition more solid. I found two problems to chase...
Making personalized categorization and handling listings that are inconsistent.
I wanted to focus on 1. Improving the Navigation and 2. Making buying and selling efficient and consistent for listings with multiple items.
Improve the browsing experience through improved Information Architecture and making the shopping categories more relatable and engaging to users
Open Card Sorting
To make a more data driven, customer centric decision, I conducted an online open card sorting experiment with my friends on Optimal Workshop.
No. of Cards: 30
No. of Participants: 10
Total time taken to complete: 12 mins on an average
1. Most of the people placed sell search and profile in the same group "Account" "Actions" or "Stalk"
2. People had an average of 7 buckets which was interesting and could be further understood but it was outside of my scope right now
3. People also grouped Local listings, Live Shopping, Buy and sell groups and deals together and not under categories.
Personalization of Categories
I evaluated the competitor's designs to study how content is personalized and displayed.
Making selling of multiple items listing easier through price tagging of items on the images.
Price tagging of images
I took instagram as an inspiration as they do a great job adding price tags on items that are sponsored by influencers. Since instagram is a subsidiary of facebook, I followed a similar design style but would have to design the flows which would be unique to the marketplace
I iterated a few flows that I thought made the most sense and finally came up with two interaction flows. I chose to go ahead with option 2 as it had fewer screens to get to the final stage.
1. The images are more focused.
2. Flow is more intuitive.
1.Must get through more screens to finish the task
2. Reduced redundancy
1. Getting to know the price shorter
2. Reduced screen sizes
3. Follows facebook's design language
1. Images are not the hero
Defining the problem areas before interviews made it possible to dig deeper
Since the time frame for the redesign was only a week, defining the problems areas through heuristic evaluation made it possible to screen the participants and drill them down further in those areas. Avoiding exploratory research saved me time which I used to conduct early usability tests.
Always drive your design using data
Although I had a basic idea of how my navigation needed to look. I went ahead and conducted a card sorting experiment to make a more data driven decision. This helped me validate my design decisions and helped me build a more customer centric flows.
The sell & search actions are made more prominent as they are the most important features for both Rosa (Seller) & David (buyer)
David can add his favorite categories and that are relevant to his interests without letting go of the exploratory aspect of the Marketplace's Home page.
Improved navigation & Customization
Rosa can now price and sell all her items in a group with ease, without creating multiple listings.
Price tagging multiple items on an image
Improved buying experience for David for listings with multiple items.
The price is shown as a range rather than a randomized number for better decision making.
Negotiating with the seller is easier as the seller knows exactly what item is being asked.
Price tagging multiple items on an image
What the buyer sees
What the seller sees