To mark its 20th anniversary, eBay has launched a brand new version of its mobile app for Android and Apple. 

eBay claims the new design provides an improved shopping experience and that browsing and buying items is now much easier. I thought I’d check it out and see for myself.


When you first open the app you’re shown the ‘Featured’ category within the Shop section. 

This makes sense from a user experience (UX) perspective because the majority of people will be logging on to search for something to buy, so it's a good opportunity for eBay to put specific products in front of them.

This also gives sellers greater incentive to pay for featured items. 

There is a call to action below the ‘My Big Weekend’ banner, although I feel this could stand out better if it was a different colour. 

Once you scroll down you see various featured collections and a promotion with the option to click and see more. 

The homepage overall is clearly laid out and easy to navigate. No major complaints so far.


The sign-in page is clean and straightforward. There’s also a clear call to action for those who haven’t yet got an account. 

As for the registration process, it is again extremely simple and is unlikely to put many people off. 

Once you’re logged in, the members area is well laid-out and lets you easily scroll through your recently viewed and watched items. 

The best parts of the member area however are the buying and selling overviews. You get a really clear picture of your activity without having to go hunting for it. The UX is simple and intuitive as it should be.  



The eBay app is very easy to navigate and should be intuitive enough even for the less technically gifted users among us. 

You can tap between the primary categories at the top or use the secondary menu below to swipe between different subcategories, i.e. Fashion, Home & Garden, etc under Shop. 

You can also tap the different sections to open up further subcategories such as ‘Men’, ‘Women’, etc under Fashion. 

ebay app

All of this makes browsing products on the app extremely easy, but I’m still not totally convinced that most people use eBay in this way. I’ve always thought of it more like a search engine, but perhaps that’s just me. 

That point does lead me quite nicely into our next subheading, however. 


I do wish the search bar was slightly more prominent on the home page. I imagine most people coming to the app will be looking to use the search bar rather than browse through products. 

Once you get into it the search bar however it does everything it needs to. There’s a decent predictive search function, something I think is an absolutely essential piece of UX design because it’s a simple way to make things easier for the user.

The search results themselves were perfectly relevant so nothing negative to say there. 

Product pages

The things that immediately stand out when you first land on a product page are the two large call to action buttons at the bottom of the screen: ‘Watch’ and ‘Buy it now’.

These buttons stand out because they are a contrasting colour to the rest of the page and they stay in position as you scroll up and down. 

There is a nice clear product image filling the top part of the screen, and the image is swipeable so you can easily flick through the rest of the images. 

All the information you would expect is on the page: price, postage information, estimated delivery time, etc. 

There are also some relevant suggested items at the bottom of the page. Again this is important from a UX point of view. 

Perhaps my only criticism when it comes to the suggested items is that there could be more in the way of cross-selling. In this case a Jedi Knight costume or something along those lines would have worked. 

Checkout process

Let’s start with that Buy it now button on the product page. When you click on it you’re taken to a screen with a brief summary of the product at the top and a scroll wheel to select the quantity. 

The information about being able to review the purchase on the next screen is a nice touch, as it helps alleviate any fear the user might have that they’re going to be charged if they click next.

No complaints about the final checkout screen. Again there is a clear call to action button that follows you as you scroll, and all the information such as price and postage costs is clearly displayed and easy to review. 

ebay app

In terms of ease of use, you can sign into PayPal directly from the checkout page and by tapping the current address you can easily switch between all the different addresses you’ve registered or enter a new one. 

There is also an element of social proof used on the checkout page. In this case there are ‘more than 10 available’ which is hardly likely to inspire urgency, but if there were only a few products left in stock you can see how this would work.

Conclusion: a strong focus on UX pays off

I wanted to find faults with this app, mainly because it makes me seem like a better writer whose analytical prowess and industry expertise know no bounds. But honestly it’s really well designed. 

The point here is that eBay has clearly thought hard about how it can make things as quick and easy as possible for the user, and in my opinion that should be the number one concern when designing an app like this. 

The couple of criticisms I do have are around the search bar not being prominent enough and the lack of cross-selling on the product pages. I also think the login screen could do with being less hidden when you first enter the app.

But those really are minor criticisms of an app that is full of fantastic UX design, and I think this one is going to go down well with eBay’s users. 

Jack Simpson

Published 30 September, 2015 by Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (5)


Thomas Long, wat at nah

Are you kidding? As a user, the UX (not just the UI) of the new app is atrocious.

You used to be able to see about four times as much information per screen. Now I seem to spend my life scrolling and hunting for stuff that used to be literally at my fingertips.

I frequently (as in, every time I use it) encounter issues like different prices appearing depending on what view I'm in. For example, an item that was priced at £3.57 (+ 99p postage) on the web appeared as £5.57 in the app... until I opened the item, where it was £3.97.

When the new app first came out a couple of weeks ago, the first screen on opening the app was the 'Shop' view - basically a shopfront pushing whatever eBay can make money off. This was in contrast to the old app, which showed you a 'My eBay' view, with your watched items, saved searches, recent purchases etc.

It seems to be only after the app dropped to a 1-star rating in the app store (on Android, anyway) that they added the 'Activity' tab - similar to the old My eBay, albeit in new, 'Material UI', spend-hours-scrolling-and-hunting form.

Then there's the little things, like having scrollbars on UI elements that don't need them (i.e. they're 2 or 3 pixels too high for the container); broken search results that return 8 pages on desktop or 2 items on mobile; an inconsistent back button....

The reality is that the UI and UX in this update suck. I've gone from using the eBay app every day, to considering uninstalling it and using their (only slightly less-woeful) mobile site instead.

Maybe that was their intention.

almost 3 years ago

Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson, Writer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@Thomas - I guess UX sometimes just comes down to personal opinion, and in my opinion clean and simple is better. If I want additional information I'll ask for it, and I felt this app made it easy to do so without cluttering up the initial pages too much.

There may be some bugs around pricing, not that I noticed any myself, but in terms of the look and feel of the app I think it provides a decent user experience that is far superior to the mobile site. Again, clearly our opinions differ on that latter point.

As for the Activity tab update you mentioned, I can't comment on that as it was already there by the time I wrote the review.

Anyway it's good to hear different views on these things so thank you for commenting and let's hope someone from eBay is reading this! :)

almost 3 years ago


Miyon Im, UX at Home

" I think this one is going to go down well with eBay’s users. "
I would suggest you check out their app ratings. Tanked from 4 to 1 start pretty much after the update.

almost 3 years ago


Matt Lovell, Head of Customer Data, Insight & Analytics at Eurostar International Ltd.

Interesting article Jack.

Having a quick look (I'm not an active eBay user so didn't have the old or new app downloaded) my concern would be they seem to be a bit too focused on being aesthetically pleasing and enabling them to promote what eBay wants to sell and less about the user experience as if I had the app on my phone (and use it) this would probably imply I'm a relatively regular user so I would expect more focus around me (past and current sales / purchases, past and current searches) than around what featured advertisers would like me to buy...

almost 3 years ago


Nathan McGarity, CEO at Self employed

The new eBay 4.0 app is a complete bust. Its not clean or simple at all. Its cumbersome and makes regular tasks a chore. Go read the app reviews for IOS and Android. They are overwhelmingly negative except for a few suspicious bots with 4 stars and "good app" as their comment.

almost 3 years ago

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