Money & Business

Lunchtime Links: Take Some Tips From the eBay Redesign

By / Oct 11, 2012 (via eBay)

Thinking of changing up your site’s design? Use the eBay redesign as a template: Go for something bold. Also, an example of what you could do with your association’s magazine.

For nearly a decade, eBay stayed largely the same in format as the rest of the online world started to catch up. Now, it’s making some big changes. Are there any lessons in the latest eBay redesign for your association? That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Go bold or go home: If you’re going to redesign your focus, don’t skimp on the design itself. That appears to be what’s driving the latest eBay redesign, which the company announced Wednesday and plans to launch later today. And, as Fast Company’s Christina Chaey notes, there’s smart, personalized thinking under the hood, too: “You can specify which product categories you’d like to see in your personal feed, which is a welcome way to wade through the site’s 350 million listings. And the more you interact with the items in your feed, the better it will get at showing you new items you might not have asked for, but will probably like.” Are you in need of a redesign? You may want to pick up some pointers over this way.

This is what a modern magazine can be, not a 300 MB stack of static page images laid out manually by 100 people.

Experiment with the format: Tying into Katie Bascuas’ blog post this morning on association magazines, a smart experiment by the founder of Instapaper and cofounder of Tumblr, Marco Arment. He’s starting up a new iOS-only publication, The Magazine, designed to work with the confines of the format. “It’s a multi-author, truly modern digital magazine that can appeal to an audience bigger than a niche but smaller than the readership of The New York Times,” he writes. “This is what a modern magazine can be, not a 300 MB stack of static page images laid out manually by 100 people.” You may not have the resources to reinvent the wheel in a big way, but perhaps you can reinvent it in a small one.

Good content makes up for bad location: Mike Norbut of McKinley Advisors argues that if the content’s good, people will come to your event — even if it’s, you know, really cold. “So how can one association have a record-breaking meeting in November in Minneapolis, while another experiences underwhelming attendance at a spring meeting in San Diego? There are several possibilities, of course, but the most important is content,” Norbut writes.

Keep tasks centralized: According to David M. Patt of Association Executive Management, keeping one person in charge of a specific task will help simplify the overall operation. “Additional people can be involved in these activities, but ONE person should have authority over each of them,” he writes. “That will be more orderly, will eliminate duplication, and will ensure that only ONE voice speaks for the organization in each situation.”

How do you organize tasks in your association? Let us know in the comments.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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