As e-commerce has grown as a popular marketplace to find second-hand apparel. Our team of students wanted to examine the difficulties of online resale buyers when utilizing common e-commerce sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Threadup, Craigslist, and Depop. After surveying 39 individuals we found around 75% of respondents had an intrinsic distrust of resale vendors. We looked to solve this problem by narrowing our problem space to a Depop case study and applying our solution to other e-commerce sites.
How can we present pricing comparisons directly to buyers on resale platforms to lower the burden of researching and evaluating prices within Depop?
Our main research goal was to understand the decision-making process behind why users purchase products on Depop and how pricing contributes to that decision.
We conducted user interviews on not just frequent users of resale sites, but also on the sellers to better understand their perspective in setting a fair market price for used apparel. We wanted to delve deeper into understanding the mindset behind why consumers indicated a distrust in sellers from our survey data.
One of the findings from our user research indicates how resale buyers often spent a lot of time and effort on price comparison. To address this concern one of our design goals was to minimize the user flow by eliminating the amount of screens users would have to interact with. We adhered to this design philosophy by utilizing pop-ups on all of our screens and ensuring users would not have the burden of leaving the shopping page and potentially losing progress.
Our second goal with the redesign was to address user concerns on comparing similar products among e-commerce. We wanted to make the price checking tool intuitive to first time users, and did so by following the consistency and standards usability heuristic. By mirroring the pre-existing mental models of a buyer our extension doesn’t require cognitive effort on behalf of the user to learn how to utilize the price checker tool.
Price Comparison Carousel
Users can compare prices on similar items through the pop-up. In the pop-up users can scroll through various items to view the price point, shipping price, and the vendor.
In the price comparison pop-up users are afforded the opportunity to view more information about each item. Clicking "See More" will showcase an expanded view that additionally shows rating, reviews, condition, and brand name.
Users can also sort their carousel view through the drop down menu: 1. Low to High Price 2. High to Low Price 3. Seller Rating
Price History Feature
Users can view the price history of an item and see significant price changes over time by just hovering over the dots of color shown in red.
We implemented A/B testing on interviewees between two lo-fi prototypes, and usability testing led to some subtle improvements on our design. Our improvements centered around making the design less invasive to a user's screen by limiting the amount of information to be viewed, and incorporating subtle signifiers on descriptions users could not understand how to view.
Special shoutout to my team members: Jessy Li, Rainee Pei, and Hannah Yick in ensuring this project went as smoothly as possible in an online setting.
This project also would not have been possible without our team mentor Kendall Nakai who offered invaluable insight into ensuring our case study was polished throughout all stages of the design process.
This was my first experience in designing a web application, and I learned a great deal in terms of how a user's viewing attention can be dramatically different on a desktop/laptop as opposed to a phone. I learned the important lesson of accounting for different perspectives when designing. While our primary user base are buyers on e-commerce sites, we also had to take into account the seller's perspective when making decisions, especially within the broader context of the effects our redesign would have on how a user approaches buying items.