Dane Howard Discusses PreViz Design at eBay

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Today on Radio Johnny, Jeff Parks talks with Dane Howard about the evolution of an engaging design culture at eBay – by modeling PeViz. Dane shares how Pre-Visualizing inside eBay is allowing for an engagement model that works effectively for multi-disciplinary teams. This in turn is fostering a corporate culture allowing for designers to not only be at the table in business decisions, but also aid the company in the creation of the table.


“I run the design groups from our fashion markets place, for instance. What we really enjoy is just a better understanding of the fashion market. So I’ve got designers who’ve come from Banana Republic or Gap that have worked in the fashion industry. With Motors for instance, these are people who have a fascination with having rebuilt some of their own cars or love that parts and accessory space, globally. A designer isn’t someone who works well particularly well in mobile or works well in social, works well on the web. It’s someone who has the capacity to think at scale on large interactive problems, cross-platform.”

“There are a lot of things that can happen to a company that can starve innovation…what we started to observe is that if We started to behave as designers differently we could use the discipline of design to make things and to surface a prototype or an experience that allowed the organization to make a decision around it… if we did that earlier in the process it would naturally force design to not only be at the table but help create the table!”

“We borrowed from Hollywood. We found that some of the great films that are being created today – particularly the big budget films have made quite a bit of investment around this stage they call Pre-Viz. Simply put, Pre-Visualization is a way of visualizing complex scenes, before filming, to experiment without having to incur the cost of actual production…We’ve got high stakes strategy that we would love to be able to visualize, to help us make decisions, before we invest in the product and decide to better scope it…this way of thinking…then allowed us to have a group inside of eBay that basically partnered with different parts of the business in order to help use design as one more input to help them make decisions on where they want to go.”


* eBay Design Built by design for design to help recruiting and conversations towards elevating design talent at eBay.
* FastCmomany Article – Six Bite Sized Innovation Lessons from eBays New Design Think Tank
* Follow Dane on Twitter @danemhoward
* Follow eBay design on Facebook
* Learn about others who will be presenting at the MX conference this year.

Jeff Parks

Jeff is the co-founder of DIGIA UX Inc. and actively collaborates with industry professionals from around the world through his involvement with Boxes and Arrows and Johnny Holland. Jeff is also leading workshops on Information Architecture and User Experience Design over at Follow the UX Leader, in addition to volunteering his time as a Mentor and Member of the Board of Directors for the Information Architecture Institute.

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