Don t listen to yourself successfully redesigning the leading e commerce platform in latin america
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Don´t listen to yourself: successfully redesigning the leading e-commerce platform in Latin America. Daniel Rabinovich CTO www.mercadolibre.com @drabinovich. Agenda. Who we are (2’) Why we were sidetracked The Redesign. Who we are.

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Don t listen to yourself successfully redesigning the leading e commerce platform in latin america
Don´t listen to yourself: successfully redesigningthe leading e-commerce platform in Latin America

  • Daniel RabinovichCTO

  • www.mercadolibre.com

  • @drabinovich


Agenda
Agenda

  • Who we are (2’)

  • Why we were sidetracked

  • The Redesign


Who we are
Who we are

MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI) is the largest e-commerce platform in Latin America and the 11th Retail Site in the world.

  • Hard data (2010):

  • 1.7bn pages viewed per month

  • ~50mm search page views /weekday

  • 3.4BN in GMVe

  • 697MM Total Payment Value

  • 84MM New Paid Listings

  • 39MM Successful Items


We lead in every market we operate in
We lead in every market we operate in

ComScore MMX – Latin America Retail

ComScore MMX – Brazil Retail

ComScore MMX – Argentina Retail

ComScore MMX – Mexico Retail


Agenda1
Agenda

  • Who we are (2’)

  • Why we were sidetracked

  • The Redesign


First rule of usability don t listen to users
First Rule of Usability: Don’t Listen to Users

  • The greatest usability barrier was the preponderance of cool design. Most projects were ruled by usability opponents who preferred complexity over simplicity.

  • Too frequently, I hear about companies basing their designs on user input obtained through misguided methods. A typical example? Create a few alternative designs, show them to a group of users, and ask which one they prefer. Wrong.

  • To discover which designs work best, watch users as they attempt to perform tasks with the user interface. This method is so simple that many people overlook it.

Jakob Nielsen


How to get it right watch instead of listen
How to get it right: watch instead of listen

  • Watch what people actually do.

  • Do not believe what people say they do.

  • Definitely don't believe what people predict they may do in the future.

Jakob Nielsen


How we got it wrong listened to our own needs
How we got it wrong: listened to our own needs

  • We claimed to focus on users…

    …but developed the ability to explain away many design mistakes in the name of revenues or features

  • We were really designing around two wrong principles:

  • Revenue generation trumped usability

  • Engineering challenges/feature richness trumped usability


By focusing on wrong principles we developed a series of design anti patterns
By focusing on wrong principles we developed a series of “design anti-patterns”

  • Anti pattern #1: Charge for a good experience.

  • Anti pattern #2: If it brings eyeballs to site, it is good.

  • Anti pattern #3: If it brings revenue, then it is worth doing.

  • Anti pattern #4: All BU’s need exposure on the HomePage

  • Anti pattern #5: Complexity is a sign of feature richness


Agenda2
Agenda

  • Who we are (2’)

  • Why we were sidetracked

    • In-depth look at each anti-pattern

  • The Redesign


Ap 1 charge for a good experience
AP #1: Charge for a good experience

  • Revenue opportunity: charge for “picture in listing pages”

  • It was the most profitable “Optional Feature Fee”

  • Outcome: No pictures in search results for millions of queries…


Ap 1 charge for a good experience ii
AP #1: Charge for a good experience (II)

  • Revenue Opportunity: charge for “highlight your item”

  • It was the second most profitable “Optional Feature Fee”

  • Outcome: “Happy” sellers, overwhelmed buyers…


Ap 2 if it brings eyeballs to site it is good
AP #2: If it brings eyeballs to site, it is good

  • Traffic opportunity: Add “harmless” content for Search Engines

  • Traffic opportunity: Users don’t even see footers. Let´s use them for something “productive”…

  • Outcome: loads of useless content that confuses buyers


Ap 3 if it brings revenue then it is worth doing
AP #3: If it brings revenue, then it is worth doing

  • Advertisers want to be above the fold

  • Should lower featured items

  • Outcome: “hidden” loss of revenues from poorer conversion rates as a consequence of the ads


Ap 4 all bu s need exposure on the homepage
AP #4: All BU’s need exposure on the HomePage

  • Site is treated as real estate that has to be distributed among BU’s. Outcome: site overload


Ap 5 complexity is a sign of feature richness
AP #5: Complexity is a sign of feature richness

  • Users demand hundreds of features

  • Should try to please everyone

  • Outcome: overwhelmed users


Solving these anti-patterns

required much more than “Web Design”…


Agenda3
Agenda

  • Who we are (2’)

  • Why we were sidetracked

    • In-depth look at each anti-pattern

  • The Redesign



Re think the pricing model
Re-think the pricing model

It was neccessary to fix revenue induced anti patterns

Revenue streams

Business Units

Pricing Model


From featured fees to exposure fees
From “Featured Fees” to “Exposure Fees”

There is no maneuvering room when there are “visual highlight” fees

Old Optional Feature Fees

New “Listing Types” allow cleaner results


Never charge for delivering a good experience
Never charge for delivering a good experience

Eliminated “Picture in Listing Pages” Optional Feature Fee

Old version: paid pictures in listing pages

Same Search Query with New Version(all pictures for free)


The real cost of advertising and communicating
The real cost of advertising and communicating

Minimizing the “vicious cycle” of visual competition

Old Home Page

New Home Page


Simplify simplify
Simplify, simplify

Thoreau

Slide inspired from a Chris Nodder Presentation


Simplicity first
Simplicity first

Keep what the users acually use, not what managers *think* is useful


Nothing is harmless
Nothing is “harmless”

Useless content on footers is typically added aiming to Search Engines traffic

Previous Scroll Bottom (1024x768)

Current Scroll Bottom (1024x768)


Velocity first
Velocity First

Focus on HTTP requests and implementing CDNs.

Oct 2009

Apr 2010


Use the crowd to help new users
Use the crowd to help new users

Favor the majority and make choices for them

Automatic “zoom in”:Demand data was concentrated in “Players” and not “Accessories”

Top Nav Bar for “Players”:

Specific facets


Direct operational metrics
Direct Operational Metrics

Lowered bounce rates, decreased time on page and accelerated Successful Items


Agenda4
Agenda

  • Who we are (2’)

  • Why we were sidetracked

    • In-depth look at each anti-pattern

  • The Redesign

  • Wrapping up


Wrapping up
Wrapping up…

  • User Experience goes far beyond “Web Design”.

  • Requires “true commitment”, usually from the CEO.

  • “Unstable Organizational Equilibrium”. Must apply force to achieve collaboration.

  • A/B testing is useless when evaluating dramatic changes.

  • Usability Testing is key.

  • Beware of HIPPOs (Highest Paid People´s Opinion).

  • Going after UX, everything could be changed. Even your business model.


Don t listen to yourself successfully redesigning the leading e commerce platform in latin america1
Don´t listen to yourself: successfully redesigningthe leading e-commerce platform in Latin America

  • Daniel RabinovichCTO

  • www.mercadolibre.com

  • @drabinovich


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