eBay’s Main Street in a Box (MSiaB) digital signage platform is a multi-user interactive 3×3 touch wall that brings the best of eBay’s Main Street digital experiences to eBay offices around the world. MSiaB amplifies eBay stories, data, trends, people and facts to engage visitors and employees alike. MSiaB is currently deployed at eBay headquarters in San Jose, CA (“Main Street”), and the eBay New York Studio in Manhattan. Multiple launches worldwide are planned throughout 2018.
Main Street in a Box offers eBay’s internal communications team an entirely new way for eBay to connect with employees and visitors from around the world using eBay’s own enormous wealth of real-time data and content feeds. Inspired by eBay’s elegant flagship Main Street facility in San Jose, MSiaB consumes and aggregates data from social sources, eBay API sources, eBay velocity stats, and news feeds into a shoppable interactive experience. eBay worked with design partner Publicis Experiences and development partner Signet to create the interactive software platform and launch the program at eBay’s San Jose headquarters and New York Studio in Manhattan. The application allows multi-user touch inputs and can easily accommodate three to four adult users. Designed originally to deploy on a 3×3 array of 55-inch displays, the platform is easily scalable to smaller screens for use in smaller footprint eBay offices.
eBay’s MSiaB digital platform had to be robust, scalable and self-contained. Design and user experience challenges included making content accessible to all users while adhering closely to the eBay brand. Technically, the platform had to accommodate many different content types (social, news stories, videos, velocity data, weather and a customizable welcome message). Additionally, the platform had to be customizable per installation instance to allow locally relevant content to populate. From an engagement perspective, the onscreen experience needed to make an impact on both passersby as well as users actively touching the screens. Finally, in keeping with eBay brand values, the entire experience was required to be ‘shoppable.’
An in-depth design analysis brought eBay stakeholders, design partners and development resources into close collaboration from the outset. Development included multiple reviews and user testing along the way. A two-tiered approach ensured that we were creating the most compelling experience for all types of content consumers. The ‘engage’ mode was designed to enable multiple users to proactively consume content simultaneously. The ‘attract’ mode was designed to invite a passive potential user to quickly apprehend the depth of content on offer, enticing them to engage. Additionally, we leveraged a backend experience to enable content managers to customize unique instances of the platform as well as integration with the eBay mobile app, allowing users to experience ‘shoppable’ items within MSiaB as well as actually make a purchase from the platform.
Early adoption and rapid buy-in from key eBay stakeholders has produced a demand for deploying the platform internationally across an increasing number of eBay office locations, exceeding our original rollout plan. A first look at anecdotal and statistical data shows that content consumers are finding multiple points of engagement with MSiaB right out of the gate. Since its launch in San Jose and New York, requests are multiplying for leveraging the platform outside of its original intended use cases. MSiaB has fulfilled its goal of bringing eBay stories, data, trends, people and facts to life by delivering an impactful digital brand moment that’s poised to scale quickly across the eBay enterprise as well as touchpoints such as conferences and events.