Overview

OfferUp is a digital marketplace that provides a platform for buyers and sellers to connect locally and nationwide. Its scroll interface and integral to the company's brand, and allows users to browse hundreds of listings from over forty categories, seamlessly. Users can browse goods, message sellers, post goods, and leave reviews of their transactions.

Role

User Research
UX Design
Wireframing
User Testing

The Problem

As a regular OfferUp user, I found it difficult to browse listings with ease and confidence. Listings on the home page are cluttered with unwanted ads, sold goods, and disproportional listings that make some goods hard to identify. Creating and managing listings require multistep processes that could be condensed, while still upholding OfferUp's brand and identity.

Tools

Pen + Paper
Adobe XD
Adobe Photoshop

The Goals

  • Deliver an interface that is intuitive, sleek, and easy to navigate for all users.
  • Consider the user's needs throughout the entire design process. Test & iterate constantly in response to their feedback.
  • Propose novel features that enhance the buying and selling experiences for app users.

The Process

Since I have used OfferUp for years and therefore know its functionality very well, I decided to do an in-depth analysis of the app. I wanted to understand the overall architecture and navigation of the app.

App Analysis

Through the analysis, I was able to identify some clear usability issues and pain points. I will address these issues after the user research portion of this case study.

User Research

Quick Stats

Conducting User Interviews

Initial interviews included seven users aged 16-62, who use OfferUp on a regular basis. Aside from user interviews, recent OfferUp reviews from the App Store and Google Play were used to gain more insight on user pain points.

Some key insights from the interviews: 

  • 6/7 users indicated that they never offer a purchase price before asking about item availability
  • 7/7 users use the search function when looking for something specific
  • 5/7 users sell unwanted items regularly on OfferUp through its multistep selling process.

Therefore, optimization of the asking, searching, and selling features seem like they would most benefit OfferUp's user base.

Personas

I wanted to design for users like Ahmed by making OfferUp easy to interact with while providing clear and explicit listing descriptions. I also wanted to provide a seamless selling experience for Christina, so that posting a sewed beanie can be done quickly and easily. Meet up experiences should be safe and reliable for both users, and I wanted to reflect that in the redesign.

Pain Points

Searching Items

Many users across interviews and app reviews expressed their frustrations towards the search functionality. The biggest culprit: Ads. “I almost always tap on an ad by mistake, they’re so annoying” one user complained. OfferUp’s algorithm generates item specific ads on the browse page whenever a user taps on an item. Tap on an iPhone post, return to the browse page, and you will find iPhone ads scattered everywhere. Users are especially prone to clicking on these ads when searching for something  particular, and often leads to slower, less efficient navigation.

Users also expressed how the disproportionate listing layout is a burden when browsing. Some are “too small” to make out at first glance, and others are “unreasonably larger”, including item backgrounds in the preview picture.

OfferUp’s filtering system also seems to be lacking based on interview feedback. Currently, buyers can filter by price, date listed, and proximity. However, all three filters cannot be applied at once, nor can a user filter by condition or TruYou sellers, which seems to be of high demand.

Messaging Users

Buyers have indicated that asking a seller about an item’s availability is the best stating point when looking to purchase something. Users can either offer a purchase price on the item, or ask questions regarding it using the Ask and Offer buttons under the posting. Given the importance of inquiring about availability, the process of asking a seller this question should be effortless and rather quick. However, the current process of asking this frequent question takes just as long as any other one, even with the pre-written messages OfferUp provides. Interview feedback indicates that this is not ideal for average browser, and users would like a quicker method of asking such popular question.

Some users complained about buyers/sellers not showing up to their scheduled meeting place on time, or at all. This illustrates that OfferUp’s current Suggest to Meet feature within messages is lacking, and can be optimized so that scheduled meet ups don't lead to a waste of time.

Posting Items

Sellers that were interviewed emphasized that the posting process is unnecessarily “lengthy” and takes users through a five step process in order to successfully post an item. It is clear that this process could use some condensing and a bit more structuring in order to provide sellers with a delightful, seamless posting experience, as well as to ensure buyers are getting all the information they need about the item.

Ideation

User Flow

I wanted to create task flows to visualize the interface and navigation I was redesigning for the processes described above.

Task Flow 1: Searching for an item

Task Flow 2: Messaging a seller

Task Flow 3: Posting an item

Sketches & Wireframes

Viewing a post

Filtering a Search
Suggest Meeting Place & Time

Posting an item

Prototype & Test

User testing was conducted to ensure usability of basic in-app functions and assess the efficiency of the proposed solutions. The feedback was collected, and was used to tweak some design features that were implemented in the final design.

Initial Feedback

A/B Testing

A/B testing was also used to make additional design changes based on the user feedback gathered from initial wireframes.

Pain Point Solutions

Searching Items
Messaging Users
Posting Items

Final Feedback

Reflections

As an active OfferUp user, I found it fairly easy to identify the holes within the app’s design that could greatly improve its users’ experiences. After speaking with some users during the user research portion of this study, I found that we share similar frustrations towards the app’s design, which solidified my redesign ideas. These redesigns focus on an improved browsing experience for all users, as posts were heavily weighed down by ads and indistinct photos. The posting process was condensed and simplified, yielding a seamless posting experience for sellers, as the process beforehand required too many steps. From the feedback, I found that even the smallest changes in design make big difference in user experience.