Analysis of the IA of Ebay

Analysis of the IA of Ebay

When reading over the requirements for this assignment, the one website that kept coming to mind was Ebay. I use Ebay for a lot of different reasons. I have an automotive business and some parts are hard to come by at the local parts store. My wife and I like finding unique antiques, which is fun to search for on Ebay. We also have used it for other items like electronics, clothes, and gifts.

The main menu/home page structure of Ebay is extensive. Across the top left of the page are links to your personal account, daily deals, brand outlet, help and contact, and on the right side are links to selling, you personal watchlist, and the my Ebay page which takes the account holder to their personal pages such as recently viewed, recently purchased, and saved searches, among many others. Below this top heading a search engine, and below that are the main item links to Ebay's most popular categories. These include motors, electronics, collectibles, fashion, and more. I feel the main menu is organized very well as the links provided are the most popular categories on Ebay.

Submenus and dropdowns are located in many of the links on the main page. Dropdowns are noted with the typical downward V next to content where these are available. Submenus are found in each of the category links. The submenus provide the customer more options to help narrow the search for more specific items. These are presented in a very uniformed way and are consistent across each page. The search engine is located on the main page and all other pages visited as well. It is very effective and returns all products that match the search as well as items that are similar.

The labels and headings are very clear and easy to understand. No matter what you are looking for, you can find the category for it or simply type it in the search engine. The content is prioritized based on the most popular categories. The main page also features listings of items similar to the user's most recent searches along with current sale items and brand name deals. The navigation of the website is very user-friendly with clear headings and information as well as a way to always return to the home page with a single click.

I feel most everything about the website is works well. There are very few aspects of the site that have not been well thought out and improved over the years. I first used Ebay when it hit the internet over 20 years ago. Since then, it has improved from an auction only website to one where consumers can purchase an item immediately instead of bidding. I will say, however, that I sometimes miss the thrill of placing a bid and getting in a bidding war with someone over an item I really want. One area I think would improve the traffic on Ebay, would be to offer an "auction only" section. Thanks to the internet, most great buys on Ebay are not as great as they once were. Are there still some good deals? Of course. Is it still a great place to find hard-to-find items? Again, of course. The auction part of the site offered the chance to get an item at an amazing price while experiencing the thrill of "winning" something really wanted.

After spending time on Ebay and really analyzing its setup, I feel I can take several insights from their structure. I think I will add dropdowns to some of my links which will allow those visiting my site the ability to choose more specific items or collectibles they may be interested in. I also like the idea of adding navigation buttons which provides more specific content that is popular to antique hunters like myself.

Richard P. Schnars

I currently own my own business but am branching out into the blog world creating posts on automotive aspects of my business. I have been married for 28 years and have a 24 year old daughter.