eBay Image Scan

Launch of eBay’s first ever catalog-driven camera vision feature.

Image scan is an evolution to eBay's digital trading card portfolio product (Collection), allowing users to use their camera to scan their items and add them to their digital trading card inventory much faster.
Domain lead and designer for Image Scan experience with support from the Collectibles design team.
March 2022 - July 2022. Feature launched with three initial games: Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh!
1 designer. 5 supporting design team members. 1 design manager. 1 product managers. 10 engineers.
Problem #1 - Time-consuming processes
Image scanning is a key competitive differentiator in the collectibles space and is something eBay did not offer. At the time, the only way to add cards to a Collection was either a time-consuming manual form process, or via spreadsheet upload on a computer.
Goal: As an enthusiast-level customer, reduce time it takes to add a card to your eBay trading card portfolio (Collection).
Problem #2 - Data accuracy
During the manual add flow users usually didn't include all the information that would provide the most card value. By incorporating a catalog experience and product mapping, we wanted to address our user’s #1 complaint - market price accuracy.
Goal: Increase accuracy of our Price Guidance by mapping image recognition and brand catalogs to a query.
Competitive landscape
Before the design process started our team performed an audit of the competitive landscape to identify each product’s strengths, weaknesses, and differences.
We found that some other products struggled to provide guidance and adequate error handling when the tool doesn’t work. But most tools did a good job of providing confirmation that a card has been scanned, although it was unclear where that scanned card “went” after scanning.
Insights from User Research
We were able to do usability testing with customers and get their feedback on some initial concepts while I began the design interation process.
Image scan well received
Users received the feature positively, and preferred it to the manual add flow.
Quantity matters
Most users of the feature would be looking at stacks of cards no larger than 25-50.
User guidance is key - directing users to use the tool properly and would enhance the experience. 
Letting the user know the card was scanned and where the data is stored is important.
Key design decisions
Image scan was launched in July 2022, allowing users to cut down time to add items to their Collection from 2-4 minutes to 30 seconds.
Providing guidance
Our engineering team and I worked together to devise a set of guidance components that indicates to users how to best position their card, taking environmental factors account, and even multiple card use cases.
Catalog matching use cases
While it is possible to get a match on the first try, our solution needed to take into account what happens when the camera vision tool isn’t able to find a single match, allowing users to quickly find the right card.
Scanning multiple games
In the manual addition flow customers are required to add cards from different games separately. However, trading card customers typically have collections comprised of different games. We designed a solution that allowed users to quickly switch games/categories without needing to leave the scanning experience.
Catalog availability
Image scanning isn't available for all card games/categories. Because of this, our team re-designed the adding experience to flex and adapt depending on whether image scan was available for a certain game by displaying ways of adding a card after the user has selected a card category in the addition flow.
Obvious confirmation
Users expressed a desire to have a clear affordance displaying a card has been successfully scanned. Along with this bottom card, I designed an animation showing the card moving into the scanned card list so users knew where scanned cards lived.
The final product
Thanks to our hard-working team, image scan was successfully launched in July 2022. I created this demo as a part of a presentation to the entire eBay design org.
Overall, this project went pretty smoothly. There were two main things I took away from working on image scan.
Trust your experts
From the beginning of the project I partnered very closely with the engineering team. They were an invaluable resource on the functionality and constraints of the scanner, and were really helpful with guiding the design decisions of the in-scan experience.
Improved design-developer workflow
I learned from a different project (eBay Price Guide) that I needed to improve my documentation practices for a better hand-off process. During this project I piloted a tag system to help our engineering partners understand design fidelity levels. This was brought up as helpful during our project debrief.
Example of tag system
Next steps
Although this feature was released for Collections, I continued working to scale the product for future integrations into the Collectibles ecosystem.
Price Guide integration
While not in scope of the project, I also explored how image scanning could integrate into the Price Guide flow, allowing users to use their camera to check pricing data instead of a manual search process.
Scaling for direct submissions
I also explored how this tool would scale when integrated with another project I owned: sending trading cards to the eBay vault.
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