|Sat Mar 9 2013 15:02:34|
eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page
By: Ina Steiner
eBay is testing another design of the View Item Page, and don't be surprised if users have an "OMG not again" reaction to this latest example of eBay's frequent changes. A reader who began seeing it on Friday emailed screenshots of the redesigned page.
Here's what the reader had to say about the new design:
The basic seller info has been moved below the "main" box and replaced by eBay self-promotion (buyer protection, eBay bucks, bill me later). I suppose we should be happy that some seller info is between the pricing information and item specifics.
While none of the listings I browsed had advertising at top for off-site selling, there is a line of same/similar items from other sellers between the header and the description body - all of which are priced the same or lower.
The shipping information, return policy, payment details and another box for seller information is at the bottom - following the description and a "other people are watching" line - then finally, a "questions" box, followed by a line of what other people bought.
I don't think this is going to thrill many people ... while most sellers would like customers to read the description prior to asking questions, how many buyers will get that far before paging on to another listing?
The image above is cropped to better see the detail to the right of the photo. What you can't see is the text above the thumbnail photos - it reads: "People who viewed this item also viewed," which, as the reader described above, are competitive listings from other sellers.
The new design de-emphasizes the seller of the listing by moving the seller name to a completely new position on the page (lower down and to the left) - and the seller name no longer includes a label. eBay had always preceded the seller name with the label "seller information" or "seller." The new format is in sharp contrast to the pre-June 2008 design where eBay displayed seller information at the top right under the heading, "Meet the Seller."
The following screenshot of the new design shows the placement of the seller name over time.
The reader said that on the plus side, she likes that some basic information remains at the top of the page: "There is a 2-line strip with links to the sections that remains at the top as you scroll down the page."
Flipping through screenshots of the View Item Page taken over the past 2 years, it's really remarkable how many designs eBay has tried out. And if I look at an eBay listing page on my desktop computer, it's completely different from the layout I see on my laptop. Which is different from the design eBay heralded in October as part of the "New eBay" branding.
Whether or not you like the redesigns, the constant moving of key elements to different places on the page leads to poor usability - visitors must now hunt through the page to find key information. And the page often looks different depending on which web browser or computer the you are using.
eBay has not responded to some questions sent Friday afternoon about the new design, let us know if you've been exposed to the latest testing, and share your thoughts in the comments.