Our team had just built a web experience to re-enter the Chinese market after a long hiatus. A small group of folks, including myself, were tasked with determining the approach of our next big step: a native iOS app.
Design lead for the eBay China native iOS app. Other team members were a product manager, iOS developer, and UX researcher.
- Determine how the native app might differ from the web experience. Would it be the same? Could it be a pared down "companion app"? Could we showcase the new tech and operational infrastructure eBay had recently built?
- Increase new and repeat buyers.
Prior to my team's work, the eBay experience in China was a single localized landing page with no mobile experience:
During our redesign, I was responsible for the homepage and browse features. We built a new product from the ground up and adapted our newly launched design system to the Chinese market.
When we were asked to build the iOS app, we were asked to determine if we could build a pared down app that wouldn't have parity with the web experience, but could still increase new and repeat buyers.
We determined that we should create a wide range of concepts based on our market research and learnings from the existing product. We would then test these concepts in China using the RITE method: rapid iterative testing and evaluation.
I created three prototypes, each containing various themes, including customer loyalty programs, gamification, inspiration-based shopping, visual search, etc. Over a period of three days, we had nine participants, and after each day, the prototypes were iterated upon.
It became clear early-on that a the concept of a "companion app" was not resonant and nor was inspiration-based shopping as we know it in the western world. However, our approaches to gamification and loyalty programs received good indication that we should pursue them further.
Our final design approach had parity with our web experience with added layers of a loyalty program and social proof. Users would be rewarded with status and coupons depending on their shopping habits - a standard for Chinese users to try new apps. They could also discover new products based on their popularity and reviews left by influencers.