One interesting aspect of working for a two-sided marketplace is that there are 2 distinct user groups to consider. It makes projects doubly challenging sometimes, which is a good thing if you subscribe to the same philosophy as I do, or that, life without challenge is boring.

In July 2015, I began an overhaul of the 1stdibs conversation layout for both buyers and dealers. The conversations that happen on 1stdibs are generally about an item for sale on the site. Sometimes these messages include important, actionable offers. In the old design, critical CTAs and information were often either hidden, or in multiple places, which led to confusion about where to take action. 

Conversation Wireframes (Buyer)

Changes include:

  • Introduced a new section at the top of the page to house the item information, alerts and CTAs. In the old design this information was scattered in various places and often not immediately visible. There were sometimes 2-3 duplicates of the same button, making it unclear where to focus attention.
  • Moved the date/time stamp in the message to the right to make it more scannable. Previously the date followed the name and would change placement based on the name length.
  • Moved the buyer benefits and FAQs above the fold where they are most useful to the user.
  • Changed the “Conversation with…” header to sentence case instead of all caps to make it more readable.

Conversation Wireframes (Dealer)

We made the same improvements to the dealer conversation view as we did to the buyer view. Even though dealers have different CTAs, information and styles, the new layout still worked for both users, bringing more consistency between the 2 platforms and lowering design & dev time. In addition to the changes mentioned above, we removed any unnecessary information that was cluttering the page.