Wish list


eBay wish lists are similar in functionality and usage to other user-created lists on eBay, however it has new, list-sharing capabilities and personalization features to embody the feeling of a holiday or event. Users can keep their wish list private, share it with friends and family, or make it public for everyone to see. They can also share their wish lists on Facebook or via email. If the list setting is set to “public“, it becomes searchable by everyone using the wish list search functionality.

My role

I was responsible for leading the project, for the creation of flows, wireframes, storyboarding, interaction, IA, specs and guidelines, and for mentoring junior designers.

Problem statement

One of the users’ requests was to be able to create a wish list and share it with friends or family members. People could already create lists to keep track of items of interest, but no wish lists per se that include a sharing option. Introducing wish lists was a big opportunity for eBay to become a gifting destination as well as to increase user engagement.

eBay homepage promoting the wish list


This was a complex project where the needs and motivation of two different user groups—the persons creating the wish list, and the gift givers buying items from a list—had to be considered. Furthermore, each flow had touch points on multiple key pages of the eBay site and collaboration with other domain teams was necessary for the positive outcome of the project.

During early planing I performed an exhaustive competitive analysis of some large online retailers, such as Amazon, Target, Nordstrom, etc, to get an idea of what it might take to gain a competitive edge via usability, as well as to understand how large retailers were handling the wish list user experience. The foundings helped us expose business opportunities, such as the social sharing aspect or the group gifting, that could put eBay ahead of its competitors.

Based on the scope of the project, one of my first tasks was to organize a full day brainstorming session regrouping around 15 designers, researchers and product managers to define the direction of the project and to generate ideas that would be integrated into the design.

Beside working on wires and high-fidelity mock ups, we created detailed user flows highlighting the path of each user group and developed a strategy to drive the adoption of the new eBay wish list.

Some ideas generated during an initial brainstorming session

The gift-giver flow

A gift-giver accesses a wish list after receiving a sharing email, via a post on Facebook, or by searching for a wish list directly on eBay. The gift-giver can gift the wish list owner by purchasing an item on eBay or locally via Milo, or can start an eBay group gift allowing others to chip in.

The gift-giver user flow

Wish list search functionality on the homepage featuring a Holiday theme

Wish list guest view

Driving adoption

In order to drive adoption and increase awareness of eBay as a gifting destination, we decided to promote the wish list internally before the Holiday season by placing ads on key pages of the site, such as the login page or the homepage.

Driving adoption plan accross the site

Sign in/sign up page promoting the new wish list

Wish list landing page with the introductionary banner

Wish list Facebook sharing module

Working with the team

The team consisted of a talented junior visual designer, a content strategist and myself. In order to provide a framework for success and a direction of work, I created a UED roadmap with regular checkpoints and assigned dedicated parts of the project to the designer I was mentoring.

UED roadmap for the wish list delivery


The Ebay wish list was released in October 2011 before the Holiday season and became rapidly popular among eBay users. In 2012 we integrated the already existing eBay group gifting feature with the wish list experience. The wish list was sunseted with the release of eBay Collections in 2014.

Wish list owner view (left) - Wish list guest view (right)