Year / Platform:
2014-2015 / Web
Role / Team:
Lead designer (interactive, visual & prototyping) / Project manager, business unit, product developer, front & back end engineers, accessibility, and PR.
Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. As part of a strategic move to reach a bigger audience, and due to our successful live auctions project, the auction house decided to partner with eBay where I helped create a unique online experience to showcase exclusive events.
The project consisted in creating a Sotheby's branded online bidding experience, specifically:
• Promote awareness of the Sotheby’s brand to eBay's 145 million active buyers (2014) and give them access to exclusive works of art.
• Integrate eBay's live auction platform (See video) to access and participate in live events remotely.
• Create a unique and dynamic way to explore Sotheby’s catalog of events.
Each day on eBay, more than 3,500 auctions close with a price of $5K, and in 2014, more than half of Sotheby's lots sold within the $5K and $100K price tag.
The project's intention was to capture the audience within that range.
Sotheby's users were interested in participating remotely in events around the world, and eBay users wanted more ways to access rare and collectible items.
knowledgeable in live auction bidding, the art world, and high-priced ticket items.
Bargain hunter seeks collectibles and rare items. Knows about online bidding.
A font that's legible, elegant, and part of the Sotheby's brand. Mercury Display is a contemporary serif that was used for titles, headlines, and quotes.
UI elements like icons and buttons were made to complement Sotheby's visual identity, but still feel part of the live auctions family of components within the eBay system library.
One of the main purposes of the proposed experience was not only to guide and inform the user but also to funnel them to a successful event registration or sign-up.
Examples of the structural components in some of the main pages, like events, calendar, and museum view.
Events on mobile.
While the full site flexed accordingly on all screens, components like the bidding console required more time to overcome technical challenges in the backend.
A simple and organized layout was chosen to not overwhelm users and provide in a simple manner evergreen and insightful content from selected events.
The calendar page gave users a choice to dive deeper into any event or just add it to their own calendar to be notified in time.
These catalog pages displayed the whole inventory for each event. The user had control for just browsing, or see more details on each piece in the museum view.
Designed as an alternative way of browsing events, the museum's view purpose was to give the user a more intimate approach to each artwork.
Months before launching the Sotheby's + experience, the online art community and media already had positive expectations since eBay Live Auctions had great reviews and was increasing sales and events at eBay.
" Sotheby’s and eBay’s love child is a sleekly designed interface that features upcoming auctions alongside artist interviews, articles, and other content created by Sotheby’s editorial team. "
" The section provides a much cleaner and more informative experience than you'd find elsewhere on the site and allows visitors to register for online access to live auctions. " — The Verge
" The site, hosted by eBay, will allow collectors to bid on auctions in New York from anywhere in the world as they happen, access live streaming audio and video of the sales, and view items for sale. "