eBay: Striking a balance between engagement and utility

eBay: Striking a balance between engagement and utility

At the end of the massive SXSW interactive conference in Austin, we caught up with Dave Lippman, eBay’s vice president of design and executive creative director to chat about how he is working to transform eBay into a universal and personalized e-commerce platform.

“We have the world’s stuff, but it’s not like the yard sale or auction everyone has in their mind,” Lippman told TNW. The new eBay strives for personalization and seeks to establish an emotional connection with users. And, of course, there’s a primary concentration on mobile platforms now, with the e-commerce site’s new iPad app.

Regardless of where, how and for what people shop online, the primary question has become: How do you balance engagement with utility?

Some of those same concepts were also explored in How We Shop: The Presentation of Curation a highly interactive panel at SXSW, where Lippman joined  Fred Dust, partner at Ideo and Michael Phillips Moskowitz, chief curator and editorial director at eBay to bat around ideas with the packed audience.

In our interview, Lippman talks about his move from Apple to eBay and the opportunity he took to transform the “e-commerce 1.0 site” into the entity that we see today and where it’s going in the future.

He also traces his own history, from his job as creative director for Apple’s online store to his current position in charge of the design experience applied to the “organized chaos” of eBay.

He also discusses eBay’s evolution as a marketplace, how changing a site’s design can help manifest change within the company, and his reasons for moving from a well-established company with core and ever advancing products to one that serves multiple, diverse constituencies.

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