eBay Design Playbook


In 2014, eBay Inc was the parent company of eBay, PayPal, StubHub, and several other companies.

eBay Inc began a new initiative to bring together its large community of talented creatives and establish a stronger culture of design. The task was to create a playbook that would define a common language and activate design thinking.

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My role

Stage 1 (2014.8): 24 designers, copy writers and and our design advisor John Maeda came in for a two-week design jam to rapidly concept and produce our first iteration of the playbook. I mainly worked on Design Principles section and audio Journey part. 

Stage 2 (2014.9 - 2014.12): I worked with 3 others on creating a new unified theme by adding new elements and then worked on its implementation.

Stage 3 ( 2015.2 - 2015.4): Prior to eBay, PayPal split, I worked with a developer to clean up the contents and created a eBay only version.

Tools and technologies

Competitive Review - Brainstorming - Design Jam - Iteration - Implementation

Ideation: Paper and pen
Printout Design
Visual Design: Photoshop, Illustrator, Keynote
Design Reviews
Implementation: HTML/CSS/JS/AJAX, SSL


The Problem

How can we align a company of 30,000+ employees around one design perspective. A shared set of principles and vocabulary that pointed all of us in one direction. A north star.

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Design Jam

In August 2014, 24 deigners and copy writers came in from all over the country for a two-week design jam. We cut and crafted the content into our first version of the playbook, both digital and physical versions. 

We presented to John Maeda (Chair of the eBay Inc Design Board), John Donahoe (CEO), and other Design Leaders across eBay and PayPal.

First Digital Version

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I mainly worked on Design Principle section.

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Physical Version of Playbook

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Many Rounds of Iteration

We started the iterative design after receiving a lot of feedback.  The first version of playbook was a one-page design, which was super long and hard to navigate.  Also, because different sections were finished by different designers, the style was not consistent. 

So the focus of the new version was how to provide style uniformity, how to trim the long page, and where to add subpages for details. 

I was lucky to work with three excellent designers for the new version. 

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Audio Journey part

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released it to the world

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