eBay has begun rolling out major UI and overall app improvements to its mobile applications today. Most notable will be both iOS and Android apps seeing a redesign of the main navigation menu. Previous versions of both mobile apps utilized a custom navigation menu: a mix between a top navigation bar and hamburger menu. The app update rolling out from today utilizes standard UI navigation elements for both iOS and Android. Android will be seeing the update released today, and the iOS update will be available in the coming days.
Taking cues from customer feedback and reviews, eBay has put the focus on today’s updates primarily on three key areas within the app: navigation, utility, and design plus speed. Dave Comer, Senior Director and Head of Product Mobile Management at eBay, tells me that the mobile team is putting a bigger focus on releasing more regular updates to the applications. Comer stated, “As we look towards future updates, we will continue to integrate the newest technology, respond to and incorporate user feedback, and evolve the experience to create the best browse, shopping and selling experience possible.”
In the latest update today, eBay’s custom navigation menu is now stripped out from iOS and Android in favor of each platform’s own native navigation. With the previous custom menu navigation, the eBay mobile app had some of the top navigation bar menu items that were also found in the hamburger menu, but not all. This made discovery of where to find a desired menu item a frustrating task. The use of the native navigation systems makes the experience more closely match each platform’s native apps, but more importantly brings primary functions to the forefront of the user experience.
In the utility segment of the newest update, eBay has innovated its selling, Related Items, and personalization segments within the application. The selling area remains a one-stop section to list and post items on eBay, and improvements will continue to hit the app here as the app continues to receive regular updates.
When searching for items now, eBay will leverage its data to show users similar items to what they are currently looking at. Overall this should broaden the searching and shopping experience for mobile users. It also means that with this data eBay will be able to personalize the experience per user, thus showcasing relevant and tailored items to their shopping behaviors.
The design and speed improvements on both iOS and Android are definitely welcome. Simplifying the navigation as listed above is just the first step, but improving the overall speed will be recognized as well.
I asked Comer what these more regular updates meant for the Apple Watch and Android Wear apps, and he assured me that as the app receives more updates they will continue to listen to customer feedback to find areas to improve. eBay’s Apple Watch app is already running on watchOS 2, so they shouldn’t see themselves hitting any App Store release snags come June 1st.
The eBay app is available for free in Google Play Store, and the updated app should be live later today.